Northwest District Forest Fire Update – August 20 2018

Forest Fire Update

Forest Fire UpdateReport prepared by Chris Marchand

THUNDER BAY – There were seven new fires confirmed in the Northwest region by the mid-afternoon of Aug. 20.

At the time of this update, there were 60 active fires in the Northwest. Six of those fires were not under control, two were being held, six were under control and 46 were being observed. Nine fires were declared out throughout the day.

New fires for Aug. 20

  • Kenora Fire 117 is located three kilometres west of Horseshoe Island on Lake of the Woods. The 1.0 hectare fire is under control.
  • Nipigon Fires 63 and 64 emerged on the north side of Kagianagami Lake, approximately 121 kilometres northwest of Nakina. At 0.3 hectares (#63), and 0.1 hectares (#64), the fires are not under control.
  • Thunder Bay Fire 56 consisted of a tree burning near Adrian Lake Road. The 0.1 hectare fire has been declared out.
  • Kenora Fire 118 was located at the north end of Cedar Lake. The 0.1 hectare fire has been declared out.
  • Sioux Lookout Fire 125 was located 25 kilometres south of Socket Lake. The 0.1 hectare fire was declared out.
  • Kenora Fire 119 is located south of Kakagi Lake, approximately eight kilometres south of Nestor Falls. At 1.0 hectare the fire is not under control.
  • Red Lake Fire 175 is located north of Ben Lake, approximately 50 kilometres northeast of Ear Falls. The 0.1 hectare fire is being held.
  • Dryden Fire 61 is located near Harmon Lake, approximately 181 kilometres east of Dryden. The 0.3 hectare fire is not under control.

Fire hazard in the Northwest Region
The fire hazard in the region is mainly moderate with areas of low hazard in the Thunder Bay District and along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Hazard conditions in the Kenora, Dryden and Fort Frances districts are high to extreme.

Smoke Drift

Smoke from large fires in Western Canada and the United States continues to affect areas throughout Ontario on Aug. 20. Communities in close proximity to some of the larger monitored fires in the Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, and Thunder Bay Districts may experience smoke drift from these fires. For information about the impacts smoke on your health please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Ontario Parks restricts access in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park
Several large fires in Woodland Caribou Park have necessitated some restrictions for backcountry travellers. Ontario Parks is restricting access to some canoe routes as well as access to a number of lakes. You can find more details here.

Restricted Fire Zone

A Restricted Fire Zone, declared on Aug. 16, for portions of the Northwest Region remains in place until further notice.

This order is required to reduce the possibility of unwanted human caused fires. Resources are presently adequate though the potential for problematic fires exist.

Included in the Restricted Fire Zone are:

  • Kenora District
  • Fort Frances District
  • Dryden District
  • Portions of the Thunder Bay, Red Lake and Sioux Lookout Districts.

Not included in the Restricted Fire Zone are:

  • City of Thunder Bay

The organized municipalities of:

  • Neebing,
  • Gillies,
  • O’Connor
  • Oliver/Paipoonge,
  • Shuniah
  • Dorion

The unincorporated areas of:

  • Pass Lake
  • Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Residents outside the Restricted Fire Zone are urged to check with the municipal fire department for local burning restrictions.

The use of open fires, such as campfires or burning of debris is not permitted. Portable gas and propane are allowed but must be safely managed.Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to have a campfire during a Restricted Fire Zone provided certain conditions are met.

Failure to comply with a Restricted Fire Zone could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as the financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire caused by the illegal act.

To see a complete list of fires across the province and well as the details of Restricted Fire Zone boundaries click on our interactive map. You can also get the latest update on the condition of any fire by clicking the fire icon.

Fire numbers and online information: