THUNDER BAY – The humidity has helped slow the fire danger in Northern Ontario. The Ministry of Natural Resources states, “Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services personnel in the Northwest Region are on alert for a predicted increase in new forest fires as the result of lightning. Thunderstorms tracked through the region recently and the lightning locator system recorded heavy cloud to ground lightning strikes. Higher humidity levels have kept the new fire numbers down somewhat but with extended hot, dry weather in the forecast it is predicted that a number of new fires will flare up from these lightning strikes”.
The problem being the greatest concern right now are human-caused fires.
The forest fire hazard is high through most sectors of the region with some moderate areas. The hazard is predicted to rise into the high and even extreme level in the coming days.
This sets the scene for human-caused wildfires as any source of ignition can spread. People are reminded that they must attend campfires at all times and put them dead out before leaving. Any brush or grass fires must wait until the evening hours before being lit. According to the guidelines in the Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario, brush and grass burning can start no sooner than two hours before sunset and be out no later than two hours after sunrise. This ensures that there is no burning during the day when it is hottest, driest and windiest.
When it is windy no fires should be started. People living in municipalities and First Nations communities should check with fire officials for local bylaws before burning.
There were two new fires reported in the Northwest Region by the evening of July 5 but fire predictions show that more fires are expected by day’s end. The new fires were in the Fort Frances and Kenora Districts.