Northwestel says a wildfire near Highway 3 is threatening telecommunications services in Yellowknife.

In a news release on Sunday, the company – which owns the fibre-optic infrastructure between the city and the south – said technicians are standing by to assess the situation once they can safely operate in the area.

A wildfire near Birch Lake, roughly midway between Behchoko and Fort Providence, forced the territorial Department of Transportation to close Highway 3 for a number of hours on Saturday and Sunday. The highway has now reopened.

Follow: Updates from the Department of Transportation on Twitter

Read: South Slave fire jumps Highway 6, Highway 3 reopens

In its statement, Northwestel said fire along the highway “is posing a threat to telecommunications services, including voice, data, internet, television and wireless service in Yellowknife”.

The company said no services have yet been affected, and “a redundancy plan is in place to reduce the impact of any damage caused by the fire”.

The territorial government said three new fires have started in the North Slave region in the past day – all as a result of lightning strikes.

One new fire is burning 70 kilometres south of Behchoko, on both sides of the highway. A tanker group has attacked the west side of that fire, while crews are reinforcing a cutline to the north of the fire, which is 1,200 hectares in size. (A hectare is roughly equivalent to two small soccer fields.)

Should you lose internet access, tune to 100.1 Moose FM for updates.