THUNDER BAY – There were five new forest fires reported in the Northwest Region between May 23 and the evening of May 25, all caused by people. The fires were in various locations around the region including the districts of Dryden, Fort Frances, Kenora, Red Lake and Thunder Bay.
They have all been declared out. There have been 22 fires in the Northwest Region since April 1 covering an area of 11.5 hectares.
Despite some areas of rainfall, the forest fire hazard is moderate to high across the region, particularly in the southern and western sectors.
Rain is in the forecast for the next few days and is expected to lower the fire hazard in the northern sectors. The southern sectors are expected to rebound quickly from the effects of rain and will be in a moderate to high fire hazard by mid-week.
Thunderstorms are expected to be part of the weather system passing through and lightning strikes will be tracked. Lightning is a cause of forest fires in the region.
Ontario has responded to a request to assist Saskatchewan with their northern forest fire situation. Two CL-415 water bombers, a birddog aircraft; pilots and an Air Attack Officer flew west on May 25 to support the firefighting effort.
Provincially, there have been 31 fires with an area burned of about 78 hectares. By this time in 2013 there had been 128 fires and 219 hectares burned over. The 10 year average provincially to this time in the season is 206 fires and 9,634 hectares burned over.
Recreational activity often includes a campfire for cooking or warmth. People are reminded to follow safe outdoor fire management as set out in the Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario. Safe outdoor fire management guidelines can be found at ontario.ca/fireprevention.
Report forest fires in the Northwest Region and the Northeast Region (for areas north of the French and Mattawa Rivers) by dialing 310-FIRE (3473). Southern region forest fires can be reported by calling the local fire department.