Forest Fire Situation Update Northwest Region July 09, 2019

Heavy Equipment and Bucketing Helicopter working on Red 040
Heavy Equipment and Bucketing Helicopter working on Red 040

THUNDER BAY – The weather is helping the wildfire situation in Northwestern Ontario. There were no new forest fires confirmed by the afternoon of July 09.

There are currently 19 active fires in the region. Three are not under control, two fires are being held, five fires are under control, and nine fires are being observed.

Fires of Note

Red Lake Fire Number 23 is 8 kilometres south of the community of Keewaywin. This fire has been re-mapped at 92,648 hectares in size. The incident management team is established in Sandy Lake First Nation. Community sprinkler set-ups and maintenance are ongoing. Crews with bucketing helicopters continue to work along the Dawson River on the northern border of the fire. The fire did receive rain which has reduced its fire behaviour.

Red Fire Number 39 – The fire size is 40,439 hectares. This fire is being managed by an incident management team as part of a larger cluster of fires. Sprinklers have been installed on the southwest side of the community. Fire behaviour has been reduced significantly with the arrival of rain, heavy at times. Rain will allow for more suppression to take place now that fire behaviour has been reduced. Crews are establishing hose lines on the east and northwest sides of the fire. The fire is approximately six kilometres southwest of the community of Pikangikum on the opposite side of Pikangikum lake.

Red Lake Fire Number 40 is not under control at 31,762 hectares and is located near Nungesser Lake, approximately 40 kilometres north of Red Lake.  The suppression plan for today was establishing hose lines on the north, west and south end of the fire as well as consolidating heavy equipment lines on the west side of the fire. Sprinkler systems remain in place. 

Fire hazard for the Northwest Region
The forest fire hazard is currently low to moderate in the western portions of the region and high to extreme in the eastern portions of the region. Rain is in the forecast for the next few days and will likely reduce the forest fire hazard further.

Travel restrictions in parts of Red Lake District due to forest fires

Pursuant to the Emergency Area Order signed July 9, 2019, an Implementation Order has been issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry prohibiting access and travel in portions of Red Lake District where there are public safety hazards as a result of active fire behaviour from a number of fires in the Red Lake area.

The Order restricts travel, access and use in an identified area (see attached map below) and may be modified regularly to reflect changing fire conditions.

This measure has been put in place to ensure public safety while allowing fire personnel to safely and effectively suppress the fires in the identified area.

Unless authorized by a travel permit issued by the Red Lake District office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), no person shall enter into the hatched area identified on the attached Implementation Order map, and all persons must immediately evacuate the said area.

Specifically, all travel and use of Nungesser road, Morins road, Coli road, Sidace road, Bandit road, Rita lake road, North road, Caribou road, and Pikangikum all-weather road are prohibited.

All travel and use of Golden road, Silver road, Zinc road, Copper road, Tall pines road, and Waz road is prohibited.

All travel, use and access to the Coli Lake Cottage Subdivision and Coli Lake Campground is prohibited.

All modes of travel/access onto the North shore of the Trout Lake Conservation Reserve, Storey lake, Philip lake, Pedlar lake, Nungesser lake, Boughton lake, Upper and Lower Remote lake, Coli lake, including the Sahkeesahkahteekoh weesuhkaheegahn (Pringle Lake, Dedicated Protected Area (Ontario Parks)) and all Crown land as outlined in the hatched area Identified area on the attached Implementation order map unless authorized by a travel permit issued by the Red Lake District office of the MNRF.

The Simeon, Bloodvein, Craven and Ford canoe routes are closed within Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. The upper Chukuni river access to Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is closed.

All modes of travel/access from the Manitoba-Ontario border including the Little Grand Rapids dedicated protected planning area, Weeskayjahk Ohtahzhoganiing (Lake country, Dedicated Protected Area) and Peekwatahmaewee Sahkaheekahn (Berens Lake) as outlined in the hatched area identified on the Implementation order map unless authorized by a travel permit issued by the Red Lake District office of the MNRF.

If a member of the public believes that access within the restricted travel area is necessary for non-recreational purposes, please call contact the Red Lake District office to request a travel authorization permit.  MNRF will review the request for access based on the rationale provided, local fire activity, and the potential fire risk.

Please visit ontario.ca/forestfire to view the current access restrictions and fire activity as this site is being updated regularly.