Dehcho under a fire ban for all public and private land heading into the weekend

A map showing the area of the N.W.T. under territorial fire restrictions. (Submitted by the department of Environment and Climate Change - image credit)

The N.W.T. department of Environment and Climate Change has announced region-wide fire restrictions in the Dehcho.

The restrictions prohibit open flames on all public and private lands in Fort Simpson, Jean Marie River, Wrigley, Nahanni Butte, Sambaa K'e and Fort Liard. There is an exemption for Indigenous people exercising their rights.

The restrictions will be in place until at least July 3, but could be extended.

In a news release Thursday afternoon, the department wrote that the restrictions apply to the communities and any land between them that isn't federal jurisdiction.

"These restrictions are being implemented due to high to extreme wildfire danger, drought conditions and a high risk of new ignitions due to lightning," the department wrote.

The restrictions mean people can't start or use open fires outdoors, including in an open fire pit or burn barrel. It also prohibits the use of incendiary or tracer ammunition, exploding targets, fireworks, firecrackers or sky lanterns. Burn permits are suspended while the restrictions are in place.

People can still use closed stoves and barbecues.

The announcement came on the heels of an update from N.W.T. Fire that warned of a "significant lightning outbreak" happening across the Dehcho, South Slave and parts of the North Slave and Sahtu regions Thursday.

"Likelihood of new ignitions in the south of the territory is high," the update read.

Territorial parks near Yellowknife have fire bans

Fred Henne Territorial Park and the Yellowknife River Territorial Park are now both under fire bans until July 4.

The ban was announced Thursday, in advance of National Indigenous Peoples Day.

It applies to all open fires, but not to camp stoves, enclosed barbecues and propane-fuelled devices.

It comes a day after the City of Yellowknife announced its own fire ban.