Wildfire Update Northwest Region – Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Forest Fire Hazard heading into the weekend is high in Northern Ontario
The Forest Fire Hazard heading into the weekend is high in Northern Ontario

THUNDER BAY – WILDFIRE Update – There were three new fires confirmed in the region by the afternoon of August 25.

  • Fort Frances 69 is being held at 0.3 hectares and is located near Kishkutena Lake, approximately 58 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances.
  • Red Lake 191 is being observed at 0.1 hectares and is located near Ford Lake, approximately 100 kilometres northwest of Red Lake.
  • Thunder Bay 60 is not under control at 0.1 hectares and is located near Stedman Lake, approximately 14 kilometres west of Upsala.

There are 52 active fires in the region, 50 of which are either under observation, being held or under control. Six fires have been called out at the time of this report.

Fire hazard in the Northwest Region
The forest fire hazard is low to moderate along the Minnesota border and north shore of Lake Superior. The remainder of the region has a high forest fire hazard.

Smoke Drift

Smoke from large fires in in Western Canada and the US continues to drift east and will affect areas throughout Northern Ontario for today.  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, Wabakimi and Quetico Provincial Park
Forest fires in Woodland Caribou Park, Wabakimi Provincial Park and Quetico Provincial 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

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 exist.

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 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