NWT Emergency Response Update – NWT Wildfires, 17:30pm

Press Release

A local emergency response is underway in Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation, and the situation is changing rapidly.

Current status

Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation

Communities remain lead on response activities. Territorial and Regional Emergency Management Organizations are fully activated and providing resources for planning, coordination, and support to community emergency management operations.

For the latest, most accurate emergency information, continue checking www.gov.nt.ca/public-safety and listen to your Community Government.

Get the latest community updates:

Follow the latest emergency alerts at NWT Alert

Wildfire Status (May 15, 4:00pm)

  • The Kátł’odeeche First Nation/Hay River fire remains out-of-control.
  • Approximately 15 buildings have been damaged in Kátł’odeeche First Nation. No damage has been reported in Hay River.
  • Growth has been slower on the fire today than yesterday, though visibility continues to challenge assessments and response.
  • This update is a snapshot in time and the situation can change quickly.
  • Follow NWT Fire for updates on wildfire:

Evacuation orders:

  • Evacuation orders are in-place for the entire Town of Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation. Everyone must leave.
  • An evacuation centre has been established at the Yellowknife Multiplex. You must register upon arrival at the Yellowknife Multiplex.
  • Highway 2 is closed from km 32 to km 49 (at the junction of highways 2 and 5, between Enterprise and Hay River) until further notice.

Actions today

Emergency Management Organization (EMO) Activation:

  • The Territorial, South Slave and North Slave Emergency Management Organizations (EMO) have been activated.
  • The EMO is in regular communication with and providing ongoing support to the communities of Hay River and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation.

Evacuation Assistance and Transportation:

  • The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is working closely with the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority to ensure supports are in place for patients and clients who were required to be evacuated from the community of Hay River.
  • Individuals who have loved ones who were located in long-term care who are seeking updates are encouraged to reach out to the next-of-kin listed on the patient/client file. Next of kin of any evacuated individuals in care are being notified directly.
  • MACA is working with the Town of Hay River to help provide transportation to those who need it. If you require assistance with transportation please contact the Town of Hay River.

Evacuation Accommodations:

  • An evacuation centre at the Yellowknife Multiplex has been established. Services include:
    • evacuee registration,
    • cots,
    • food service,
    • onsite first aid and mental health supports,
    • how to access health and social services, and
    • addressing questions like how to get prescriptions.
  • Camping: Camping is available for evacuees.
    • Except for the Hay River Territorial Park (which is in the evacuation zone), all parks in the South Slave Region are open today (May 15) and available to evacuees free of charge on a first-come first-serve basis.
      • For South Slave Parks, contact Marc Schmitz, Manager Parks South Slave – marc_schmitz@gov.nt.ca or call 867-875-7569.
      • Limited spaces are also available in North Slave parks until Friday, May 19. For North Slave parks, contact Heidi Kane, Manager Parks Operations and Facilities – Heidi_kane@gov.nt.ca or call 867-446-4306.
  • Some additional hosting is being arranged in Fort Providence as needed but the primary evacuation centre is the Yellowknife Multiplex.

Priorities for operations tomorrow

  • Continued accommodating of evacuees at the evacuation centre in Yellowknife.
  • Continued monitoring of wildfire to assure safety of evacuees.
  • Continued assistance to the Town of Hay River, Kátł’odeeche First Nation and partner agencies in response.

Staying safe in an emergency

The local emergency response underway in K’atl’odeeche and Hay River is a rapidly changing situation.

Key messages for today are:

  • Do not return to the evacuated area of Kátł’odeeche First Nation and Hay River. Do not attempt to travel to these areas.
  • Evacuate Now. If you are in Hay River, leave now. Responders may not be able to rescue everyone who gets stuck.
  • Highway 2 is closed until further notice, from km 32 to km 49 (at the junction of highways 2 and 5, between Enterprise and Hay River).
  • Follow trusted verified information. Follow all instructions from your local community government.

For the latest, most accurate emergency information, continue checking for updates with your local community government and visit www.gov.nt.ca/public-safety.

Donations and helping out

Many people are asking how they can help support Hay River and Kátł’odeeche evacuees.  Here is some information on donations.

  • Monetary donations are being accepted by United Way NWT: https://nwt.unitedway.ca/fires/
  • Gift cards are accepted at the Yellowknife reception centre at the Multiplex; however financial donations to United Way serve a similar purpose and are easier to coordinate for those delivering services at the reception centre.
  • Physical goods can be dropped at the Yellowknife Salvation Army Thrift Shop and labeled: Fire Relief.
  • Food: at the current time we are not accepting donations of food at the evacuation reception centre (Yellowknife Multiplex).

More information


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