Warm weather and threats of thunder storms increase fire risk

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Sioux Lookout #35
Photo from 2011 Sioux Lookout #35 - photo by MNR

THUNDER BAY – Warm sunny weather without rain is a goal in the City of Thunder Bay as recovery efforts continue from the flooding that has hit the city. However that warm weather is also raising the forest fire threat across the region. Forest fires threats increased in Ontario on Wednesday June 6 with 12 new fires confirmed. Most of these new starts were concentrated in the Red Lake and Sioux Lookout districts in the Northwest Region. Most new fires required aggressive air and ground attack to be contained. Currently there are 26 active fires burning in the province.

The Ministry of Natural Resources reports, “Burning will be easily supported in both the Northeast and Northwest Regions. Most activity is likely to be centred in the Northwest Region as substantial lightning has been recorded there over the past few days. The weekend is expected to bring more favourable weather for fire suppression to most of the province”.

There were three new fires in the Northwest Region by the evening of June 7. One is in the Dryden District, one in the Red Lake District and one in the Sioux Lookout District. There were ten new fires in the Northwest Region by the end of the day on June 6. They included one in the Fort Frances District, three in the Red Lake District and six in the Sioux Lookout District.

In summary there is currently one active fire each in the districts of Dryden, Fort Frances and Kenora; five in the Red Lake District and nine in the Sioux Lookout District. There are no active fires at this time in the Nipigon and Thunder Bay Districts.

Many of the fires required aggressive air and ground attack under moderate to high hazard conditions. FireRanger crews are being positioned on most of the fires in the region to establish fire lines around the fires.

Heavy rain is forecast to track across the southern and central portions of the Northwest Region on June 8, but sunny and dry conditions will remain in the north. The central portion of the region is expected to remain under cloudy conditions with rain showers through the weekend and into early next week while the north will remain warm and dry. This weather will drop the forest fire hazard to low in the south and central portions of the region but it will remain moderate to high in the north.

Equipment and personnel resources continue to return to the Northwest Region from the Northeast.

Heading out to the woods this weekend, the word is be careful with fire.

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