Northwestern Ontario Forest Fire Report – May 21 2014

James Bay Highway - photo by Maxime Duperre Forest Fire
James Bay Highway - photo by Maxime Duperre

James Bay Highway - photo by Maxime Duperre Forest Fire
James Bay Highway – photo by Maxime Duperre

THUNDER BAY – Wet weather is keeping the fire hazard down dramatically across Northwestern Ontario. No new fires had been confirmed in the Northwest Region.

Widespread precipitation has moved into northwestern Ontario bringing the forest fire hazard back down to low for the majority of the region. Areas in the Far North such as Muskrat Dam may experience a moderate forest fire hazard until the precipitation reaches that area.

Over the holiday long weekend, FireRangers in the Northwest Region responded to nine new fires all of which were human-caused.

Starting on May 17, two new fires were confirmed in the Thunder Bay District. Both fires were human-caused grass fires, less than a hectare in size and are now out.

On May 18, five human-caused fires were confirmed; three fires were in the Nipigon District, and one fire each in the Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay Districts. All five fires were small and are now out.

On May 19, the Nipigon District confirmed two new fires; Nipigon fires 6 and 7. Nipigon fire 6 was a small human-caused grass fire that is now out. Nipigon fire 7 was the most challenging fire of the long weekend, located approximately 10km east of the community of Fort Hope. FireRangers had to lay out 4400ft of hose to reach the fire. FireRangers continue to make good progress on the ground and are working with the Fort Hope Community Fire Officer. This fire is 1.0ha in size and there are no anticipated problems putting this fire out.

As spring progresses and people start to clean up their properties, human-caused grass fires become a cause for concern. They ignite easily, spread quickly and pose a threat of substantial property damage. Residents are reminded of their responsibilities for safe outdoor fire management under the Forest Fires Prevention Act and its regulations.

All forest fires are investigated to determine the cause, and people can be held responsible for the costs of putting the fire out and for property damage as the result of a forest fire. Residents within organized municipalities should check with local fire departments or municipal offices for any burning restrictions in their area.

Report forest fires north of the French and Mattawa rivers by calling 310-FIRE (3473). In southern regions, forest fires can be reported by calling your local fire department.

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