THUNDER BAY – The 2011 Forest Fire Season ended officially on October 31 2011. Last year, across Ontario, 1,330 forest fires consumed 632,533 hectares of forest. It was not a record, but it represented a major number of fires.
4,476 people from 11 northern communities were evacuated between July 21 and August 9. Some communities were evacuated twice. The evacuees were moved to 15 host communities across Ontario. The evacuation effort involved many agencies including Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), non-government organizations (such as the Red Cross), First Nations, host communities and the Department of National Defence. EMO and MNR worked together to schedule over 250 flights to move people from—and back to, their home communities.
Right now, in Northwestern Ontario, there are nine active fires, and of those the causes of those fires are human action. Clearly greater caution in the woodlands is needed by more people in the region. Heading into the 2012 Fire Season, there are concerns over the lack of snow over the winter, and the fast melt this spring.
You can keep up on the latest fire news on NetNewsledger by visiting Fire Mapping