THUNDER BAY – Updated – The forest fire situation in Timmins is moving rapidly. “Timmins Fire 9 has jumped Highway 144 as a result of very high winds,” reports Charlie Angus the Member of Parliament. Updates on the Timmins City website are, at the current time resulting in a database connection error, possibly due to large volumes of traffic attempting to connect to get updates.
The Mayor of Timmins advises:
- Fire Status remains at Extreme and fire behavior unpredictable due to strong winds from the south-south west at 20-35km
- State of Emergency is ongoing. Representatives from Ontario Fire Marshall and Public Safety are in Timmins to assist.
- New fire on Kamiskotia highway last night was not related to Timmins 9.
- Fire has not crossed either highway, however the possibility still exists.
- Smoke and ash will continue. Close your windows, air conditioners & stay indoors if you have a respiratory condition. Seek medical attention if breathing issues prevail.
- Timmins Airport and all schedule flights have not been impacted.
- Evacuations announced yesterday are still in effect. No other evacuations to announce at this time.
- City and Red Cross continue to provide welcome / registration centre for evacuees. 210 people registered yesterday with only 10 requiring accommodations
- Fire updates in conjunction with MNR will continue. The updates will be sent to media, posted on www.timmins.ca, and social media. Traffic to our web site is up significantly, and that’s great news. Info is accurate and factual. I want to stress the importance of relying on fact-based information available only from the MNR and City websites. If the rumour you heard is not confirmed at either one of those sites, then it’s just that, a rumour.
- Dedicated telephone line is now active. Fire updates are available by calling 705-360-8720. Message will be updated when information warrants.
- Residents of Timmins will experience significant smoke and ash based on forecasted wind direction. Do not call 911 to report this activity. Only call 911 if you detect a new fire.
- Total outdoor water band still in effect. Water fountains at Hollinger Park and other locations have been turned off to preserve water.
- Another Media Conference will be scheduled for tomorrow and again on Sunday. Details are forthcoming.
MNR reports, “Timmins #9 has crews currently working to protect valuable properties. Some cottagers have been asked to evacuate. CL-415s are providing air support on the north end of the fire. Dry and windy conditions on May 23-24 caused the fire’s activity to increase. Mattagami First Nation was evacuated on May 23. Additional residents evacuated from Kamiskotia area on May 24. There are smoke concerns for Gogama and Timmins. State of emergency declared in Timmins”.
MNR information officer Heather Pridham shares that the main fire north of Kirkland Lake remains unchanged. “The area received only 2 mm of rain this morning when a cold front passed through. There are sunny skies in the area now. Winds are gusting to 55 km/hr and are expected to cause some of the hotter areas to smoke again,” comments Pridham. “Any smoke in the Kirkland Lake area is coming from the large fire in Timmins. An additional helicopter has joined the crew bringing the total to 6 helicopters fighting fires in the Kirkland Lake area”.
“Water bombers that have been working on the main fire north of Kirkland Lake will also service KLK fire #13 between Elk Lake & Matachewan this afternoon. British Columbia personnel have arrived and are being briefed in Ontario firefighting practices and will be utilized as more manpower is needed”.