Northwest District Wildfire Update – August 22, 2018

Waterbomber fighting wildfire near Temagami
Waterbomber fighting wildfire near Temagami - Image supplied by Ontario Government

THUNDER BAY – There were nine new fires confirmed in the region by the early evening of Aug. 22 with more reports being investigated at the time of this update.

At the time of this report there were 71 active fires in the region, 63 of which are either under observation, being held or under control.

New fires for Aug. 21

  • Sioux Lookout Fire 138 is located northwest of Tarp Lake, 50 kilometres west of Pickle Lake. At 1.0 hectare, the fire is not under control.
  • Thunder Bay Fire 58 is located southeast of Winn Lake, 77 kilometres northwest of Armstrong. The 1.5-hectare fire is not under control.
  • Red Lake Fire 188 is located east of Peall Lake, 45 kilometres north of Red Lake. At 0.1 hectares, the fire is not under control.
  • Fort Frances Fire 64 is located north of Anstey Lake, 60 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances. At 0.1 hectares, the fire is not under control.
  • Sioux Lookout Fire 139 is located south of Sleen Lake, 60 kilometres northeast of Sioux lookout. At 0.5 hectares, the fire is not under control.
  • Dryden Fire 65 is located 30 kilometres east of Ignace. The fire is not under control at 0.1 hectares.
  • Sioux Lookout Fire 140 is located near the eastern shore of Savant Lake, 116 kilometres northeast of Sioux Lookout. The fire is not under control at 0.1 hectares.
  • Sioux Lookout Fire 141 is located north of Bingo Lake, approximately 68 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout. The fire is not under control at 0.3 hectares.
  • Fort Frances Fire 65 is located near the mouth of Big Canoe River near Rainy Lake, 25 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances, the 0.2 hectares fire is not under control.

Fire hazard in the Northwest Region

The fire hazard in the Northwest Region is generally high to extreme.
Areas of extreme fire hazard encompass the Kenora, Dryden and Fort Frances Districts, extending into the southern portions of the Red Lake and Sioux Lookout Districts. Hazard conditions in the Thunder Bay and Nipigon District range from high to moderate near the shores of Lake Superior.

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.

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.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:

Report prepared by Chris Marchand