Wild Fire Hazard Ramps Up in Northwest
THUNDER BAY – WILD FIRE UPDATE – It was a busy day for the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program in the Northwest Region on May 23. There were multiple fire reports and four fires were confirmed by the evening and another fire report was being checked in the Dryden District.
Kenora Fire Number 28 is burning to the north of the Shoal Lake First Nation community. It is not threatening the community which is several kilometers to the south and the fire is burning to the north. The fire spread rapidly under high winds with multiple spot fires. By the early evening of May 23 it was reported at 350 hectares in size. Multiple FireRanger crews and four CL-415 heavy water bombers fought the fire through the day. An Incident Management Team has been assigned to this fire.
Shoal Lake Road was closed by Ontario Provincial Police and remains closed as the fire has crossed the road. Heavy smoke from the fire prompted numerous calls to the general information line and to 310-FIRE (3473) forest fire reporting number.
By the evening of May 23 the fire was approximately four kilometers south of Highway 17 and smoke may be visible there.
Sioux Lookout District Fire Number 15 is a 10 hectare fire about 10 kilometers to the north east of Sioux Lookout. Thunder Bay District also responded to a fire on an island on Swallow Lake about 53 kilometers west of Kakabeka Falls. It is listed as not under control at 0.7 hectares in size. Fort Frances District also received a confirmed fire within Quetico Provincial Park. Fort Frances Fire 12 is a 0.5 hectare fire on Batchewaung Lake.
The forecast for May 24 is another sunny and dry day across the region and the fire hazard will remain high and even extreme in the far north. Rain is in the forecast for Monday, May 25 which is expected to reduce the fire hazard, but thunderstorms and gusty winds will be part of the storm system which makes for windy conditions ahead of the storm and lightning strikes which may result in forest fires.
ONTARIO Wild Fire Update – Out of Province Resources
Ontario is supporting Alberta and the Yukon with firefighting resources. On May 23, agency representatives and four-person Initial Attack FireRanger crews were bound for the Yukon for a total of 74 personnel.
In Alberta, a total of 126 personnel were dispatched including a number of 21-person crews for sustained action on fires as well as four-person initial attack crews, plus strike team leaders and agency representatives. A Type 2 Incident Management Team is also in Alberta. Upon arrival, crews and overhead receive a briefing on the fire situation, fire hazards, safety and other policies. They will travel to their Alberta fire destinations today, mostly to the north part of the province.
The Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program is reminding people that they are responsible for safe outdoor fire management and must follow guidelines set out in the Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario including no day burning of brush or grass fires. Campfires are to be tended at all times and put out before leaving. If it’s windy – don’t burn.
For further tips on how to be FireSmart, visit ontario.ca/firesmart
For more information about the current fire situation and the active fires map, ontario.ca/forestfire
The Northwest Region Fire Information Hotline is available for general information updates – 1-888-258-8842
Report forest fires by calling 310-FIRE (3473).