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2 Tuesday June 30 2015 ENVIRONMENT WILDFIRES NEWS BRIEFS RCMP prepare for marine exercise Operation Gateway 2015 PoliceintheNWTaregettingreadyforOperationGateway 2015 an annual maritime patrol of the Mackenzie River River Delta and the coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea. The RCMP patrol is scheduled to last 17 days launching from Hay River on July 7 and concluding in Tuktoyaktuk on July 24. The operation will run concurrently with Op- eration Nunakput a Canadian Armed Forces maritime patrol. The exercise is conducted to enhance RCMP and military capacity to respond to emergencies and provide comprehensive policing services. Roy Fabian retains position as Katlodeeche chief Incumbent Roy Fabian has retained his position as chief of the Katlodeeche First Nation in Hay River following an election which took place on June 24. Fabian ran against first-time candidate April Mar- tel for the position. Official results show a tight race with Fabian receiving 91 votes and Martel receiving 81. Joining Fabian are councillors Jeanna Graham Robert Lamalice Fred Martel Jr. and Pat Martel. Charges laid in Fort McPherson over nancial irregularities The RCMPs federal investigations unit has laid charges in regardstoaninvestigationofnancialirregularitieswithin FortMcPhersonscommunitynances.Thehamletsformer director of nance Ina Koe 44 has been charged with two countsoffraudover5000andonecountofbreachoftrust by a public ofcer. The investigation launched following a forensicnancialauditin2013foundKoeguiltyofabusing herpositionandmisappropriatingover400000inhamlet funds for personal use and gain. Fire operations grind to halt after helicopter fuel stolen Crews were grounded and unable to ght Fire SS-027 near Sandy Lake last Wednesday after someone stole their helicopter fuel. The re has since combined with two others in the region to form the large Swampy Lakes Complex that closed Highway 6 to Fort Resolution on the weekend. By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Firefighting operations near Sandy Lake in the South Slave were brought to a halt last week after crews and he- licopters showed up to a fuel cache to nd all four drums of Jet-A fuel had been stolen. Firefighters were dis- patched to two res in the Sandy Lake area between Hay River and Fort Smith last Wednesday including two ground crews and two helicoptersintendedtobucket water onto the ames. But when they showed up there was not a drop of fuel to be found meaning Jet-A had to be trucked in from Hay River. The helicopter had to land and could not y until we got some fuel to him from Hay River so there was a delay of about three hours. We just had to stand by until we could get some fuel said Daniel Al- laire manager of forests for the South Slave with the de- partmentofEnvironmentand Natural Resources ENR. It was quite serious for us. It just put our operation at a standstill. Allaire said the fuel drums had been seen there less than a week before meaning they were probably stolen early last week. Each drum contains 205 litres of fuel weighing about 400 lbs meaning the thief would have needed a trailer or a large truck with ramps to steal all four of the drums. Based on the current cost of Jet-A fuel Allaire esti- mated each drum was worth more than 300 not count- ing the cost of the barrel and the transportation to get it there. Third theft this year This is the third cache where ENR has had fuel stolen since the beginning of the fire season. Earlier this year several drums were stolen from a cache at Polar Lake near Hay River and fuel was also taken out of a site north of Fort Providence. our fuel caches are because except for maybe one or two whereyoucanactuallyseethe fuelfromtheroad...mostofthe caches are tucked away. You cant see them as you drive. You would have to go in. Fortunately neither in- cident occurred during a re operation like the one last week. This last one was quite a big concern because we were right in the middle of the re operation Allaire said. Helicopters need at least 20 minutesoffueltheycantjust y until they run out. Also they have to keep in mind if someone were to get hurt they need to have enough fuel to get the nearest com- munity to get medical atten- tion. They were counting on that fuel to be there. The department has re- ported the incidents to the RCMP who are now investigating. Allaire believes its the work of one individual with knowledgeofENRsfuelcache network. I suspect theres an indi- vidual there doing this and using the fuel for his diesel truck he said. Somebody whos quite aware of where The fuel caches are lo- cated along the highway in order for ENRs trucks to be able to easily drop drums off. But due to the string of thefts Allaire said the department is considering moving them by helicopter away from road access de- spite it being costly and in- convenient or locking them up in a sea-can. The fuel was never previ- ously locked up because theft wasnt a huge problem Al- laire said. This year is the worst Ive seen. Its pretty rare that weve had fuel stolen be- fore. It happens sometimes maybe a drum or someone takes some of the fuel out of one drum but to take it all at once and clean out the fuel cache thats quite unusual he said. According to the depart- ment there have been no reports of stolen fuel in any of the other re management regions. If someone were to get hurt they need to have enough fuel to get the nearest community to get medical attention. They were counting on that fuel to be there. Daniel Allaire Environment Natural ResourcesPhotocourtesyofENRGNWT