Thunder Bay District Forest Fire Hazard Update

forest fire

Timmins Forest Fire #9
Forest fire season is on – image is from Timmins Forest Fire #9 – Photo from MNR

THUNDER BAY – Two new forest fires are confirmed in the Northwest Region. The likelihood of additional fires being confirmed later this evening is also  present. Dryden Fire 31 was located on a shoreline near Garnet Bay on Eagle Lake. This human-caused fire required air attack and attracted a lot of attention from members of the public. FireRangers are actively suppressing this 0.8ha fire. There are no problems anticipated with this fire at this time.

Sioux Lookout Fire 53 is a monitored fire near the community of Bearskin Lake in the Far North. There are no problems anticipated with this fire at this time. There were no new fires confirmed on August 16.  

Active Fires

There are now fifteen active fires in northwestern Ontario at the moment, none of which are posing a risk to people or property. Nipigon continues to monitor seven fires and Sioux Lookout is monitoring five fires in the Far North.

Red Lake continues to keep an eye on Red Lake 31 which remains listed as Under Control at 18,556.0ha. This is the only active fire in the Red Lake District.

The Kenora Fire Management Headquarters continues to monitor a small 2.7ha, human-caused fire on an island on Lake of the Woods. This fire is known as Kenora Fire 35 and it is located between Ferrier Island and Whiteout Island. A Fire Assessment Report has been completed and this fire is not threatening any property or people at this time. 

Kenora fire managers continue to keep a close eye on this monitored fire. There are signs in place at this fire that urge the public to stay clear of the active fire for safety reasons. For detailed information about this fire please call the Kenora Fire Management Headquarters at 807-548-1919.

Fire Hazard

The forest fire hazard is high across much of northwestern Ontario including Kenora, Fort Frances, the southern portion of the Thunder Bay District and the north shore of Lake Superior. The forest fire hazard is moderate for Red Lake, Dryden, Sioux Lookout and the northern portions of the Thunder Bay District and the Nipigon District.

The forest fire hazard is fluctuating with the chance of rain in the forecast. There is the possibility for late afternoon thunderstorm development resulting in isolated rainfall, lightning and gusting winds.

As the forest fire hazard rises, the public is reminded to exercise caution with any open flame and to be responsible with their shore lunches, campfires, fireworks and outdoor activities. Human-cause fires are preventable.

Hunting Safety during Forest Fire Season

Black bear hunting season is open across much on Ontario and the Ministry of Natural Resources wishes to remind hunters that FireRangers are still working in the bush. Safety is everyone’s responsibility! While the forest fire season seems to have diminished across much of Ontario, FireRangers are still actively working in the bush and forested areas. Forest fires do occur in the fall and it is very important that hunters be aware that FireRangers may be actively working in hunting areas.

Here are 10 Things Hunters Should Know about FireRangers:

  • FireRangers are briefed on safety precautions to help prevent any sort of hunting accident. 
  • FireRangers wear an orange long-sleeved shirt, green pants, and a yellow or red hard hat.
  • FireRanger crews are made up of four people, so expect to see more than one person in the area. 
  • FireRangers are trained to handle bear encounters, and will blow whistles to alert other FireRangers of a bear’s presence, or to scare the bear away.
  • FireRangers have access to areas via boat or truck
  • FireRangers have access to remote and isolated areas via helicopter or fixed-winged aircraft such as a float plane.
  • FireRangers have a good working knowledge of the local area; if you see a FireRanger while hunting, you can ask them where they are working, what area is affected by the fire or if there are any kind of road closures. 
  • FireRangers have radio contact with their Fire Management Headquarters and carry satellite phones.
  • FireRangers may be camping, cooking, sleeping and operating equipment in the bush for up to 14 days. 
  • FireRangers can suppress forest fires on both Crown and private land

Where can hunters get more information? 

While planning your hunting trip make sure to visit Ontario.ca/forestfire to find out more information about forest fires and to see a map of active forest fires in northern Ontario. The location of these fires may affect your hunting trip. Take time to program 310-FIRE (3473) into your cell phone, this is the Forest Fire Reporting Hotline.

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