Forest Fire Situation Update Northwest Region July 20, 2019

Wildfire Update

THUNDER BAY – There were no new fires confirmed in the Northwest Fire Region by the late afternoon of July 20.

At the time of this post, there were 16 active fires in the region, One fire was not under control, three fires were being held, 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. This fire is being held at 96,535 hectares. Early morning infra-red scanning was conducted to identify hot spots for crews on the ground to extinguish. Essential services have been restored to the community and residents are beginning to arrive back in the community.
  • Red Lake Fire Number 24 is located 13 kilometres southwest of Deer Lake. This fire was declared being held today at 17,615 hectares and is not expected to expand beyond its existing perimeter.
  • Red Lake Fire Number 39 is located southwest of Pikangikum First Nation. This fire is not under control at 44,541 hectares. Approximately 30 crews are at work on the fire. Early morning infra-red scanning is ongoing in priority areas to identify hot spots.
  • Red Lake Fire Number 40 is located approximately 40 kilometres north of Red Lake. This fire is being held at 30,212 hectares.  A new Incident Management Team from British Columbia will assume command of the fire today

Fire hazard for the Northwest Region
The fire hazard in the Northwest Region is mainly low to moderate with areas of high hazard in the Thunder Bay and Nipigon districts.

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.

Help prevent forest fires

Adopt safe campfire practices!  Choose the site of your campfire carefully and keep your fire small.  Stay nearby: never leave it unattended.  Put your fire out by drowning it with water.  Be sure that it is extinguished prior to leaving the site.  Stir the ashes with a stick to uncover hot coals and then drown it again.  You can never be too safe.

Consider alternatives to burning brush or yard waste, such as chipping or composting when possible, or saving burn piles for the fall or after the fire season. Use of outdoor fires must follow the outdoor burning rules set out in the Forest Fire Prevention Act of Ontario. Fires are to be started no sooner than two hours before sunset and extinguished no later than two hours after sunrise. Fires should never be left unattended and tools and water should be close at hand to put the fire out. More details on outdoor burning regulations can be found online at Ontario.ca/forestfire