THUNDER BAY – WILDFIRE UPDATE – There were no new fires in the Northwest Region by the afternoon of July 17.
At the time of this update, there were 16 active fires in the region. Four fires were not under control, two fires were under control and 10 fires were being observed.
Fires of Note
Red Lake Fire Number 23 is located approximately eight kilometres south of the community of Keewaywin. The fire’s status is not under control at 96,535 hectares in size.
Crews continue with infra-red scanning of the fire to identify and extinguish hot spots. Sprinkler systems set up to protect structures in the community are starting to be taken down. The community is preparing to return evacuated community members to their homes later this week. A total of 13 four-person crews have been assigned to the fire.
Red Fire Number 39 is located southwest of Pikangikum First Nation. The fire’s status is not under control at 44,541 hectares.
Heavy rains have toned down fire behaviour and helped the suppression effort. A new Incident Management team, based out of Bak Lake, assumed control of the fire today. There are presently 38 Type 1 and Type 2 fire crews assigned to the fire.
Red Lake Fire Number 40 is located approximately 40 kilometres north of Red Lake. This fire is not under control at 30,212 hectares.
A total of 46 Type 1 and Type 2 firefighting crews continue to patrol and extinguish hot spots with support from helicopters bucketing water. Sprinkler systems previously used to protect structures will be removed today.
Fire hazard for the Northwest Region
The forest fire hazard in the Northwest Region is low to moderate with more rain in the forecast in the coming days.
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 a number of fires in the Red Lake area.
The Order restricts travel, access and use in an identified area 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, no person shall enter into the hatched area identified on the Implementation Order (IO-2019-04-Red05).
All travel and use of the Coli road, Sidace road, Bandit road Rita Lake Road and North Road is prohibited.
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.