A remote evacuation scramble as the Northwest Territories burns

By Analysis by The Big Story Podcast

(UPDATE: Late Wednesday night, the government of the Northwest Territories announced a phased evacuation order for Yellowknife as the fires closed in.)

In today’s Big Story Podcast, there are hundreds of fires burning in the Northwest Territories right now. Some are threatening Yellowknife, leaving parts of the city under evacuation watch. Others have already forced evacuations by plane in remote communities without road access. The challenge is immense. The area is vast, much of it is on fire, and communication can be unstable.

Emily Blake is a reporter and assistant editor of Cabin Radio, based in Yellowknife. She said there already seems to be more property loss this year than the devastating NWT fires of 2014.

“We care about our homes, we care about our communities, and this is just really shocking and devastating,” said Blake.

How bad is this season compared to seasons past? How much has already been destroyed and how tense is the situation? Is any relief in sight? And why can’t the local radio station that’s been a lifeline during this emergency post to Facebook, where much of its audience is desperate for up-to-date information?

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify.

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

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