Wednesday, 1 July 2015

La Loche fires 2015

Photo source Mark Tuite on February 28, 2007 (Departing La Loche enroute to Fort McMurray) 

This aerial photo of La Loche shows how vulnerable the village is to forest fires. Two nearby fires and the resulting heavy smoke has resulted in the evacuation of several thousand residents of La Loche and the Clearwater River Dene Nation to Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina. 

The "Clay" fire is located west across Lac La Loche and the "Mack" fire is  just east of La Loche north of  McLean Lake.

Lac La Loche at the Clearwater beach on the Clearwater River Dene Nation. Taken Sunday, a pall on smoke obscures the sky.  For the next three days the smoke was near ground level and on Canada Day the smoke was a little less dense.  People who remained in the community stayed indoors. Some businesses offering essential services stayed open. The hospital remained closed. 

Size of the Clay fire located across the lake from La Loche on June 30, 2015.

The Mack fire east of  the village on June 30, 2015.

Aerial map showing MacLean Lake on the right bottom and La Loche on the left bottom.  The white line is a planned fire break that is a little over 50% complete. Yellow dots are other fire breaks. The red line shows the extent of the Mack fire.
Another aerial view of La Loche showing  existing fire-breaks on the south side of the community in the sub-division of Poplar Point.
This July 4, 2015 update is from Chief Teddy Clarke of the Clearwater River Dene Nation. The Mack fire has reached Bear Creek located about 50 km. south of La Loche on Highway 155 and the settlement has been evacuated.