Northern Ontario Wildfire Update – May 22 2016

Forest Fire Report

THUNDER BAY – WILDFIRE Update – The Victoria Day long-weekend has seen nine new fires across the Northeast and Northwest Districts.

There were four new fires confirmed by the evening of May 22 in the Northwest Region in the Districts of Fort Frances, Kenora, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay and more were expected by days end. Two fires were also declared out. All of the new fires required Air Attack.

There are 5 new fires to report in the Northeast Region, as of mid-afternoon on May 22.  Parry Sound 6 is being held at 1.2 hectares; Parry Sound 7 is being held at 0.3 of a hectare; Parry Sound 8 is being held at 0.1 of a hectare, Sudbury 20 covers 0.4 of a hectare and is not under control; and Kemptville 1 covers 0.6 of a hectare and is not under control. There is one other active fire in the region: Sault 15 covers 2.3 hectares and is under control.

The forest fire hazard in the region ranges from high to extreme.

A weather system from northern Manitoba is forecast to move into the region bringing cloud, showers and isolated thunderstorms to the area. Depending on the rain amounts and locations the forest fire hazard could remain a concern.

The Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect across the Northwest Region as shown on this map  

Enforcement patrols are being conducted in the region to ensure people are not in violation of the restriction on outdoor fires currently in place across the Northwest Region except for the far north. Charges and fines have been laid as a result of these patrols, and public reports continue to come in of people setting campfires and large bon fires.

Fireworks and Restricted Fire Zones

The Forest Fires Prevention Act addresses fireworks in Section 30. This section states, “No person who discharges a firearm, a flare, fireworks or explosives in or within 300 metres of a forest area shall leave any residue from the discharge unextinguished.” Therefore, any person who sets off fireworks is responsible if any hot residue results in a fire. Also, there may be municipal by-laws regarding the use of fireworks.

Out of Province

Eighty people returned from Alberta on May 22 including FireRangers, an Incident Management Team, Agency Representatives, Division Supervisors and Strike Team Leaders. They will take some days off for rest and then return to work in Ontario.

Remaining in Alberta are 85 personnel who deployed there last week including FireRangers, Agency Representatives, Division Supervisors, Strike Team Leaders, Helicopter Officers, a Supply Unit Leader a Service Branch Director and an Incident Management Team.

Ontario is keeping adequate resources to continue fighting fires in this province while supporting Alberta.

Kenora 018

Crews continue to make excellent progress containing Kenora Fire 18. The fire remains at 5,829 ha. Infrared scanning is continuing to find hotspots, and crews are utilizing helicopter bucketing to extinguish them. With a cold front approaching we are expecting to see strong winds today which could impact fire behavior, crews have been advised to watch for falling trees. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for this evening, which could bring some rain to the fire.

The evacuation is still in effect for the Nora and Florence Lake area. Daily danger assessments are being conducted on Flora road, residents will be notified of when they can return. With the wind event in the forecast today, the risk of falling trees is still high. 

Red Lake District 003

Strong winds challenged control efforts on Red Lake District Fire 003 on the north and south ends May 22.

This fire is being managed with a modified response approach which combines ground crew suppression at strategic locations on the fire using Type 1 and Type 2 firefighting crews, helicopter bucketing on hot spots, aerial heavy water bomber attack when needed and an Ignition specialist team which can fight fire with fire by burning off carefully plotted parts of the fire to bring it down to natural boundaries. Values protection equipment has also be placed on values in both the north and south of the fire.

Fire behaviour continues to be challenging on this fire which is approximately 75,000 hectares (63,109 hectares in Ontario within Woodland Caribou Provincial Park). The area contains storm damaged and insect killed forests which burn with high intensity. The fire perimeter contains long fingers of burned and unburned forest fuels which can making controlling the fire difficult.

Firefighting aircraft are utilizing and monitoring VHF-AM Frequency 122.40 within both NOTAM areas.
Firefighting aircraft are utilizing and monitoring VHF-AM Frequency 122.40 within both NOTAM areas.

Aircraft flight restrictions over Red Lake fire

There is a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) advisory in place for Red Lake District Fire Number 003 regarding flight operations over the fires, including the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park area west of Red Lake.

Pilots can access the information for the Red Lake advisories here . Aircraft requiring authorization to enter or depart the NOTAM area can contact the following: Red Lake Fire Management Headquarters  – 807-727-2055 Firefighting aircraft are using and monitoring VHF-AM Frequency 122.40 within both restricted flight areas.


For more information about the current fire situation, the active fires map and the restricted fire zones go to

To view the Restricted Fire Zone Map online go to this page.

The Northwest Region Fire Information Hotline is available for general information updates – 1-888-258-8842

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park – 807-727-1329

Report forest fires by calling 310-FIRE (3473).

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