Forest Fire Situation Update – Northwest Region – August 5, 2017

Bombardier water bomber in action

New Fires Reported Daily – Moderate to High Risk

by Jamie Scrimger

THUNDER BAY – The Northwest region is getting multiple new fire starts daily. Suppression activities continue with good progress being made and many of the remote fires are being monitored as they burn to natural boundaries like rivers and lakes. FireRangers are a mobile firefighting force and move between districts and regions to provide support to the areas with the most fire activity and highest fire risk.

The fire hazard across the region ranges from moderate to high. To track the fire hazards and to see a complete list of fires across the province click on the interactive map. You can also get the latest update on the condition of any fire by clicking the fire icons.

There were 5 confirmed fires by the afternoon of August 5. Two of the fires were in the Red Lake District, while the Dryden, Sioux, and Nipigon districts all had one fire each. Other reports are being investigated at the time of this situation update.

There were 12 confirmed fires by day’s end on August 4 in the region including two in the Dryden district, one in the Nipigon District, four in the Red Lake District, three in the Sioux Lookout District and one in the Thunder Bay District.

The majority of the new fires are caused by lightning.

Out of Province Deployment

  • Currently there are over 220 staff supporting the province of British Columbia in their fire management efforts.
  • Ontario, as part of the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact (GLFFC) including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin has formed international crews of firefighters currently deployed to British Columbia.
  • Ontario is maintaining a significant number of firefighting staff on the ground in British Columbia to help support ongoing firefighting efforts.  This is being done while also ensuring we have the necessary firefighting personnel here at home and are responding to the new and ongoing forest fire activity in Northwest Ontario.

The public are urged to take an active role in preventing more fires. This can be done by not burning when it is windy, monitoring your fire and ensuring that you have water nearby to extinguish your fire. As a reminder, there is no day burning of brush and grass.

Planning to have a campfire?

Here are some tips on how to safely enjoy your campfire and avoid the costs and dangers that can arise from an unextinguished or unattended campfire:

  • Choose your site carefully. Select a site with easy access to water that is sheltered from high winds. The fire must be built on bare rock or non-combustible material.
  • Prepare the site. Clear a one metre space around your campfire site and remove all pine needles, grasses, leaves and twigs.
  • Keep your fire small. By law, your campfire cannot exceed one metre in height and one metre in diameter.
  • Stay nearby. Never leave your campfire unattended.
  • Put your fire out. Soak your fire with water.
  • Be sure the fire is extinguished. Stir the ashes with a stick to uncover hot coals and then soak it again!

Ontario has increased the maximum fines for individuals and corporations for starting forest fires.

Increased Fines for Starting a Forest Fire 

‘Ontario Strengthens Law to Deter Forest Fires’

Fire numbers and online information:

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