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UNESCO to review industrial threats to Wood Buffalo park UNESCOsworldheritagecom- mittee will be visiting Wood BuffaloNationalParktocheck on environmental concerns regarding hydro and oilsands. See page 3. Womens workshops aim to empower through ceremony Traditional indigenous cul- tural knowledge will be the focus of a series of womens workshops in Fort Smith next week. See page 19. HAPPY HAY DAYS Hundreds turned out for Hay Rivers annual music and arts fest. See page 13. Food trucks take to NWT streets in time for summer Check out the hottest meals on wheels in the Northwest Territories this summer with the Northern Journals food truck guide. See page 7. Fort Smith ofcer receives medal of bravery An ofcer from Fort Smith NWT was awarded a medal of bravery for an incident that occurred during his tour in Afghanistan. See page 9. V IS IT W W W .N O R J.C A A national award winning independent newspaper serving northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories since 1977 1.00 July 7 2015 Vol. 39 No. 10 PhotoPaulBannister Firefighters stretched thin as drought consumes western Canada By MEAGAN WOHLBERG No one is at rest at this time. Thats the general situation for reghters across western Canada right now according to Frank Lep- ine director of forest management forNWTsEnvironmentandNatural ResourcesENRandcertainlytrue of the Northwest Territories where all28ve-personcrewsareengaged along with an additional 100 emer- gencyreghtersdoingmop-upwork. Those crews have been joined by 85 personnel imported mostly from Ontario - one of the only places in thecountryabletosupplyadditional resources while Saskatchewan and Alberta evacuate thousands from their northern communities and smoke pours into cities typically immune from the burning boreal forest like Vancouver and Victoria. The cupboard is empty Lepine said. Right now the country is on level ve which is the highest level its ever been on. I dont know if weve ever experienced a situation like Saskatchewan before. He said Canada is looking at importing human resources from Australia New Zealand and South While some rain and cooler weather has aided containment efforts in the NWT Lepine worries what will happen when the drought rebounds next week when temperatures are The res that were not action- ing we can expect a lot of growth on them...Were going to see a lot of smokyconditionsoverthenextwhile. Risks to Hay River Jean Marie River dissipate Still the momentary downturn has helped avoid total disaster for at least two NWT communities. Hay River which was put on alert for evacuation and whose outer estates voluntarily evacuated last week after a re came within a few kilometres of peoples homes saw favourable wind conditions allow ENR crews to doze cat guards and conductburnoutoperationsbetween the blaze and the community. Crews are now mopping up hotspots in the area and are wait- ing for weather to become favour- able once more to conduct a nal burnout that will protect the com- munity from the southeast. See Lack of water on page 2. Africa while Alberta has already brought in reghters from Mexico. Theres very few resources avail- ablesoCanadaislookinginternation- ally for help Lepine said. The big issuebecomesafterawhileyouhave torecycleallthesepeople.Theyhave to have breaks and you need relief. To date there have been 195 res in the NWT with 145 still burning. predicted to rise with no chance of precipitation. Thats when the bad news starts. Ourmeteorologistissayingstarting Sundayandforaboutatwo-weekpe- riod well get a high pressure ridge buildingovertheNorthwestTerrito- riesandforatwo-weekperiodwell see some high temperatures very windywarmconditionsLepinesaid. The cupboard is empty...Theres very few resources available so Canada is looking internationally for help. Frank Lepine Environment Natural Resources Roan Foye-Doucette catches a ride on the Mtis oat in the Fort Smith Canada Day Parade. The whole community came together to watch the patriotic display before enjoying events and a sh fry lunch at Riverside Park for the countrys 148th birthday. For more head to pages 10 11.