Northwestern Ontario Wildfire Update – May 25 2016

Dryden MNRF Fire Base
Dryden MNRF Fire Base
Dryden MNRF Fire Base
Dryden MNRF Fire Base

DRYDEN – WILDFIRE Update – There were two new fires confirmed by the afternoon of May 25 in the Northwest Region. Red Lake Fire Number 12 is under control at 0.1 hectares and is located near Sandy Lake First Nation. Thunder Bay Fire Number 21 has been declared out at 0.2 hectares.

The fire hazard is low to moderate in the western portions of the region and moderate to high in the eastern portions of the region.

Across Northwestern Ontario fire resources are coming together, the Dryden Fire Base is starting to gather up helicopters and gear. Twenty-two firefighters from Fort Hope First Nation have headed out to Kenora to join firefighting efforts.

Nipigon Fire Number 14 west of Geraldton is listed as being held at 12 hectares in size. It is now smouldering in a patchy burn that FireRanger crews are working to put out.

Nipigon Fire Number 13, located north of Geraldton, adjacent to the airport is listed at 275 hectares in size with a status of not under control. FireRanger crews continue to establish hose line around the fire and air attack continues on this fire.

Kenora Fire Number 18 is in good shape and listed as being held. The fire received an additional two millimeters of rain yesterday.

Red Lake Fire Number 3 which is listed as not under control and is straddling the border between Ontario and Manitoba. Fire behaviour has diminished since Tuesday due to precipitation on the northern and southern excursions of the fire. An emergency area order is now in place on a section of the fire. For public safety and effective fire suppression, until further notice, all travel and use of the Iriam Loop Road from Black Bear Lodge on the North end to the intersection of the South Pakwash Road on the south end, including all Branch Roads off the Iriam Loop Road is prohibited unless authorized by a travel permit issued by the Red Lake District of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Thunder Bay Fire 019 located about 40 kilometers north of Raith in the Dog River Road area is 1200 hectares in size. The fire was exhibiting minimal fire behaviour today. Crews and heavy equipment are making good progress on the fire line. An emergency area order is now in place over the fire and travel restrictions are in place including all travel and use of the Dog River Road northward from the junction of the Dog River Road and Sideen Road; the Dog River Road southward from the junction of the Dog River Road and the Chismore Road, and the Pakashkan Road southward from the junction of the Pakashkan Road and the Chismore Road. Also, all use and occupation of Crown Land on or within 500 meters of the described closed roads noted above within this area is prohibited.

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

Following a resource request made by Ontario to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center (CIFFC) in Winnipeg Manitoba, Ontario will be receiving five 20-person fire crews from British Columbia and aircraft from Saskatchewan to support fighting fires across the province.

The crews will be arriving in Thunder Bay on May 26 for a briefing and will be assigned for duties following the briefing. Also two heavy water bombers and a Bird Dog (directs and leads the air attack onto target) from Saskatchewan will be arriving May 25.

Ontario has also sent two flight coordinators to CIFFC in Winnipeg to assist in coordinating national aircraft for interprovincial/international movements of firefighting staff.

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.

Eighty people returned from Alberta over the long weekend, including FireRangers, an Incident Management Team, Agency Representatives, Division Supervisors and Strike Team Leaders. After some rest days they will return to work at their home bases in Ontario.

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 and select Restricted Fire Zones as a layer.

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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