Iqaluit coast guard exercise, community events cancelled due to N.W.T. fires
Federal government allocating resources to assist in emergency response as territory battles 236 active fires
A series of Canadian Coast Guard activities planned to take place in Iqaluit next week has been cancelled due to the wildfires in Northwest Territories.
Events were to include a training exercise at sea that would also involve coast guard crews from the U.S., Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway in the early part of next week.
For the public, an aircraft display and a community barbecue were planned.
“The cancellation of the exercise will enable [the] Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to focus its efforts on contributing to the emergency response effort,” said Sam Di Lorenzo, a spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
“Our top priorities remain the safety and well-being of all CCG staff impacted by the fires and to assist with the situation in N.W.T. to the greatest extent possible.”
The wildfires in Northwest Territories have prompted evacuations in several communities. In the capital of Yellowknife, residents have been told to evacuate by Friday.
On Thursday, there were 236 active fires across the territory, the government reported. This week, smoke from the wildfires cast a dark orange cloud over some western Nunavut communities, including Arviat.