THUNDER BAY – While the warm weather over the past several days have made it very enjoyable for people across our region, that weather has also contributed greatly to the start of new forest fires as well.
The Ministry of Natural Resources reports, “There were 14 new fires reported on September 09, an additional 14 new fires reported on September 10 and four new fires reported by the early evening of September 11.
Conditions were extreme with high winds, drought-like conditions and multiple new fire starts. northern fires that were quiet came back to life showing several smokes. This situation should ease as rain and colder temperatures are in the forecast overnight September 11 and through to September 14 with clearing expected later in the week”.
Dry, hot conditions coupled with wind also caused some existing fires to flare up and begin smoking again.
Smoke from fires in the western United States, and Canada also entered the province during the weekend, hindering some aerial operations. Ontario assisted Minnesota with air attack on a large fire near Ely early in the afternoon on Sunday September 11.
The volume of new fires and their intensity has begun to stretch provincial resources; however the situation should begin to ease again with incoming precipitation forecast for the next several days. Currently there are 59 active fires in Ontario. In 2011 to date, 1,186 fires have burned 628,905 hectares of forest in the province.
In some parts of Northern Ontario, rain started earlier today. However the Thunder Storm warnings issued for much of the region could see problems created from lightning which could start new fires.