Northern Ontario Wildfire Update – May 23 2016

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry personnel with the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services Program commenced aerial ignition on Kenora District Fire Number 18 as one more method of attack on this aggressive fire.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry personnel with the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services

THUNDER BAY – WILDFIRE Update – There are 14 new wildfires in Northern Ontario as of mid-afternoon on Victoria Day.

There were six new fires confirmed by the afternoon of May 23 in the Northwest Region. There were nine new fires confirmed days end on May 22 in the region which required Air Attack including quick strike support from Manitoba on a Kenora fire.

There are 8 new fires to report in the Northeast Region, as of mid-afternoon on May 23. The most recent fire is Wawa 7, which is not under control at 20 hectares.

Persons travelling west of White River along highway 17 may notice smoke as 3 crews continue to work to suppress the fire, on the ground and by air.  Parry Sound 11 covers 1.0 hectare and is not under control; Sudbury 21 covers 0.1 of a hectare and is not under control; Bancroft 2 covers 0.1 of a hectare and is not under control; Algonquin Park 1 is being held at 1.3 hectares; Wawa 5 covers 2.2 hectares and is not under control; Parry Sound 10 is being held at 0.7 of a hectare; and Wawa 6 is not under control at 1.5 hectares. There are 3 other active fires in the region: Parry Sound 6 is under control at 1.2 hectares; Sudbury 20 is being held at 0.4 of a hectare; and Kemptville 1 is being held at 1.0 hectare.

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

A weather system from northern Manitoba moved into the region overnight May 22 bringing cloud, showers and isolated thunderstorms to the western sectors of the region. This is expected to have a moderating effect on the fire hazard, however thunder storms did result in lightning strikes which have potential to become wildfires.

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.

Out of Province Deployment

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. It was declared as being held on May 23. The fire received an average of two mls of rain across the fire. Evacuation orders for Nora and Florence Lakes in Manitoba have been lifted.

Red 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. 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.

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.

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.

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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