THUNDER BAY – The Ministry of Natural Resources report, “Saturday May 26 brought improvements to the fire situation in Northeastern Ontario. While conditions still supported extreme burning in some areas, decreasing easterly winds and falling temperatures slowed the spread of major fires. New fire starts fell sharply, with just four new fires confirmed. Numerous existing fires were declared “Out.” There are currently 30 active fires in the province, down from 46 yesterday. There remain eight fires listed as ‘Not Under Control’.”
The weather radar shows that the rain currently falling in Nortwestern Ontario is headed toward Northeastern Ontario.
A spokesperson for Minister Gravelle states, “We continue to monitor the situation closely, there is more good news with more evacuees returning home today, we will need to make the call depending on how things develop. Our priority is of course to support our exceptional people on the ground in the best way possible”.
Major fires in the northeast continued to receive aggressive action with aircraft, heavy equipment and ground crews. The areas where fire Timmins 9 crossed Highway 144 and Kenogamissi Lake were attacked vigorously and good progress was made. The fire has not progressed any further north towards Timmins but remains active on its southwest side due to easterly winds.
Timmins 9 grew to the east due to the strong westerly gusts Friday afternoon. The fire crossed Hwy 144 near the Cache Campground area and McKeown Creek recreation area on Kenogamissi Lake. Fire suppression efforts are being concentrated on both sides of Kenogamissi Lake in these areas and values protection efforts are a priority. The fire has not grown north and remains approximately 2 km south of Hwy 101 and 35 km away from the City of Timmins. Both of these Highways remain closed in areas affected by the forest fire.
The fire is roughly 70 km long and 8-10 km wide.
Currently, 25 four-person FireRanger crews from Ontario, water bombers, and heavy equipment are working together to control the fire’s spread.
Timmins 15 is 8 ha in size and is being water bombing efforts are being effective with suppression.
In Kirkland Lake, fire Kirkland Lake 8 (located three kilometres north of the community) continued to be held in check. The fire is still “Not Under Control” but it has not grown and is not posing a threat to the community at this time. Fire Kirkland Lake 13, located west of Highway 65, was very active and required sustained attack with helicopters and CL-415 water-bombers. However, the fire is presently posing only a minimal threat to values in the area.
The weather forecast is becoming more favourable for fire suppression work in the northeast. Cloud cover is now settling over much of the Northeast Region and the relative humidity is increasing. Precipitation is expected to begin entering the region on Sunday, with rain forecast to continue until about Wednesday. This helpful weather will allow more resources to deploy around major fires. However, several weeks of concerted effort will still be needed to bring larger fires, Timmins 9 in particular, completely under control.