THUNDER BAY – There were no new fires reported in the Northwest Region by early evening on July 20, but two new fires were reported by the end of the day on July 19, with one in the Red Lake District and one in the Thunder Bay District.
New Wildfires in Thunder Bay District
The Thunder Bay fire was a tree over a power line about 25 kilometers north of Thunder Bay. It is now out.
Red Lake District Fire Number 058 is a lightning-caused fire that was confirmed on the evening of July 19 and required air and ground attack with multiple spot fires. It is classed as not under control at 12 hectares in size and is located about 50 kilometers southeast of the community of Pikangikum and about the same distance northeast of Red Lake.
Forest Fires of Note
Sioux Lookout District Fire Number 047 is a fire located about nine kilometers west of the community of Kingfisher Lake. Started on July 18, the fire has had air and ground attack and suppression operations are continuing on this fire with crews establishing hose lines and line camps. It is classed as not under control at 35 hectares in size.
Nipigon District has declared fires 040 and 041 out. These were both located south of the community of Webequie. Nipigon Fire 040 was 61.5 hectares in size and Nipigon Fire 41 was 5.0 hectares in size.
The largest fire of note, Red Lake District Fire Number 031 is an estimated 18,556 hectares in size. Progress continues on all fire lines. Infrared scanning is showing hot spots for firefighters to locate and put out.
Heavy winds on July 19 tested the fire lines and they held. Cooler weather and light winds over the next few days will allow firefighters to continue with this progress. Fire behaviour forecasts are still indicating that surface fires can be expected with occasional torching in conifer stands.
Firefighters must continue to use caution as they are working in storm damaged forests and recent heavy winds may have affected the root systems on standing trees.
Storm damaged forest
There are no active fires in the Dryden District but there are reports of new storm damaged forest in the area. Storm and insect damaged forests are an ongoing challenge for forest fire management, both because of the intensity of fire behaviour that can result and the difficulty it poses for firefighters to operate.
The Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program continues to map the forests with heavy storm damage to help with the management of fires that occur in those areas.
Provincial Resources support Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Quebec
Ontario continues to support the Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Quebec with six overhead staff and 120 firefighters.
Northwest Territories – There are 20 firefighters and an Agency Representative
Manitoba – There are 60 firefighters from Ontario in Manitoba. The 15 four-person crews are accompanied by two Agency Representatives.
Quebec – The Ontario personnel currently in Quebec will be returning, including two support staff and 20 firefighters, but an additional resource move is planned for July 21 with 40 firefighters in a sustained attack configuration of two twenty-person crews, plus two Task Force Leaders and an Agency Representative.
Equipment has also been shipped to Quebec including more than 4,000 lengths of hose, 50 pump kits, Pulaskis (a special hand tool used in firefighting that is a combined axe and edge tool for constructing fire breaks, digging soil and chopping wood), and chainsaw kits.
Information is available on safe outdoor fire management at www.ontario.ca/fireprevention