THUNDER BAY – NEWS- Dry conditions, and thunder storm activity has generated the declaration of a Restricted Fire Zone for the parts of Northwestern Ontario.
A Restricted Fire Zone Order has been declared in an area bounded by the CNR rail line, just north of Opasquia Provincial Park, west of Wabakimi Provincial Park and the Manitoba border. The order is in place to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires during a period of high fire hazard. The order is in place to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires during a period of high fire hazard.
Effective 12:01 a.m. on Saturday July 16, 2011, a Restricted Fire Zone Order is in place and will remain in effect until conditions improve. The fire hazard is high to extreme. The long-term weather forecast offers no relief in the form of significant precipitation in this area of concern so active burning is expected to continue into next week.
In a Restricted Fire Zone, all burning permits are suspended and all open fires are prohibited.
Campfires may be allowed at some organized campgrounds or parks that use approved fire pits and meet certain other criteria. Campers should check with the owners or operators first. Within the Restricted Fire Zone area, people can still use portable gas stoves for cooking and warmth but the public is asked to exercise extreme caution. Ministry of Natural Resources fire staff and conservation officers will strictly enforce the restrictions on open burning. The fine for starting or tending a campfire in a Restricted Fire Zone is $500.
Currently, there are 86 active fires in Ontario, with a total of 474 forest fires to date this season.
With 145,087 hectares burned to date, Ontario has already seen over twice the average amount of hectares burned annually in the province.
310-FIRE (3473) is northern Ontario’s toll-free forest fire reporting number.