THUNDER BAY – WILDFIRE Update – There were no new fires confirmed by the afternoon of May 26 in the Northwest Region. Damp weather is helping to slow the speed of some of the fires
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.
Nipigon District Fire Number 15 is a lightning-caused fire that started on May 23rd and is not under control at 145 hectares in size. It is located 11 kilometers east of Neskantaga First Nation and crews are being sent to this fire today.
Nipigon District Fire Number 14 west of Geraldton is under control at 12 hectares in size. It is now smouldering in a patchy burn that FireRanger crews are working to put out.
Nipigon District 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. Fire behaviour was minimal today and crews are continuing to establish hose lines around the fire.
Kenora Fire Number 18 is in good shape and listed as being held.
Red Lake District Fire Number 3 which is listed as not under control at approximately 86,027 hectares and is straddling the border between Ontario and Manitoba. This fire size includes both Manitoba and Ontario portions of the fire. There is minimal fire behaviour on this fire and crews are working to consolidate lines along the southern and northern excursions.
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 District Fire 019 is located about 40 kilometers north of Raith in the Dog River Road area and has been remapped at 1345 hectares in size. The fire is 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.
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
Following a resource request made by Ontario to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center (CIFFC) in Winnipeg Manitoba, Ontario will be received five 20-person fire crews from British Columbia and aircraft from Saskatchewan to support fighting fires across the province.
Further, Ontario will be receiving 18 fire fighters and an Agency Representative from Wisconsin as part of the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact (GLFFC). GLFFC is made up of three U.S. States and two Canadian Provincial Natural Resources agencies. They have created a formal association in order to promote effective prevention, pre-suppression and control of forest fires in the Great Lakes Region of the United States and adjacent areas of Canada.
British Columbia and Wisconsin crews arrived in Thunder Bay on May 26 for a briefing and will be assigned to areas across the province. Two heavy water bombers and a Bird Dog (directs and leads the air attack onto target) from Saskatchewan arrived May 25.
Ontario has 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 ontario.ca/forestfire
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).