THUNDER BAY – The weather system that dumped massive amounts of rain across the Thunder Bay District also doused many of the forest fires in the area. Except for one fire in the Kenora District, there are currently no forest fires burning in the region.
The Ministry of Natural Resources reports, “No new fires were reported by the evening of June 1. Kenora District Fire Number 36 remains the only active fire in the Northwest Region at this time. It has been declared Under Control at 588 hectares in size. Contract firefighting crews remain on the fire, digging out hotspots found through infrared scanning. The fire is located on an island on Lake of the Woods about 50 kilometres south of Kenora”.
However that does not mean there is no danger from fires. The forest fire hazard is moderate to high across most of the Northwest Region and fire personnel are reminding the public that safe burning guidelines for outdoor fires must be followed, as set out in the Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario. An example of this is there is no day burning of brush or grass allowed. People who are using campfires must ensure they are attended at all times and put dead out before leaving the site.
Things should start to change in the Northeastern Ontario region. Rainfall is forecast.
The MNR reports that “The Restricted Fire Zone that was previously in place for the Northeast Region, north of the French River has now been lifted.
The following is an update of larger fires in the region. Yesterday proved to be a busy day in the Northeast Region, with 25 new confirmed fires, as well as continuing efforts on existing fires. Air attack kept busy actioning new starts in advance of ground crew arrivals.
Timmins 9 is currently 39518 has in size, and has not grown since May 26. On May 31, there were approximately 550 people working on the fire, most of them on the ground. Crews continue to expand control lines along the perimeter of the fire with heavy equipment and hose line. Assistance has come from Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia. The fire is still listed as Not Under Control.
As of 8:00 am, Saturday June 2, 2012, specifically the west side of Kenogamissi Lake as well as the north end of Mattagami Lake will be allowed to return to the area. OPP is managing the return. Residents are reminded to respect the fire area. Highway 144 will be open to the public at approximately 11:00 on Saturday June 2, 2012.
McKeown Road, Doyle Road, Doyle 13, Kenogamissi Falls Road, Mattagami Lake Road, and access roads for The Cache, Mattagami Haven, and Green Wilderness will be open at that time.
Kirkland Lake 8 is currently 2326 hectares in size and is listed as Under Control. Values protection equipment has been removed from most accessible structures, and FireRangers will continue to be staggered along the eastern flank of the fire to lay more hose and work hotspots in the area.
Kirkland Lake 13 is currently 696 hectares in size located between area of Twitchgrass Lake and Hilda Lake, west of Hwy. 65. The fire is not threatening either community of Elk Lake or Matachewan, and possesses minimal risk to highways and hydro infrastructure in the area. Line building continues in critical areas, and the actioning of hot spots detected by infra-red scans continues as well. Manitoba FireRangers have also arrived, and are assisting with efforts on this fire. The fire is currently listed as Not Under Control.