Northwest District Wildfire Update – August 23, 2018

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

THUNDER BAY – There were six new fires confirmed in the region by the afternoon of August 23.

  • Red Lake 189 is being observed at 15 hectares and is located near Artery Lake, approximately 98 kilometres west of Red Lake
  • Kenora 124 is not under control at 0.2 hectares and is located near Silvery Lake, approximately 43 kilometres east of Kenora
  • Nipigon 66 is under control at 0.2 hectares and is located near Winisk Lake, approximately 360 kilometres north of Geraldton
  • Sioux Lookout 143 is under control at 0.2 hectares and is located near Deshane Lake, approximately 27 kilometres northwest of Pickle Lake
  • Sioux Lookout 144 is being held at 0.3 hectares and is located near Deshane Lake, approximately 27 kilometres northwest of Pickle Lake
  • Fort Frances 66 is not under control at 0.1 hectares and is located near Mack Lake, approximately 65 kilometres southeast of Atikokan.

There are 73 active fires in the region, 64 of which are either under observation, being held or under control.

Fire hazard in the Northwest Region
The forest fire hazard is high to extreme across most of the region.

Smoke Drift

Smoke from large fires in Western Canada and the United States continues to drift east and will affect areas throughout Ontario for today. Communities in close proximity to some of the larger monitored fires in the Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances 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 and Quetico Provincial Park
Several fires in Woodland Caribou Park and Quetico Provincial Park have necessitated some restrictions for backcountry travelers. 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

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for portions of the Northwest Region, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 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 exists.

The Restricted Fire Zone includes the Kenora, Fort Frances, and Dryden Districts, as well as the southern portions of Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay Districts.

Excluded from the Restricted Fire Zone is the City of Thunder Bay and organized municipalities of Neebing, Gillies, O’Connor, Oliver/Paipoonge, Shuniah, and Dorion.

The unincorporated areas of Pass Lake and Sleeping Giant Provincial Park are also excluded from the Restricted Fire Zone. 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 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 Jonathan Scott