Forest Fire Situation Update – Northwest Region – August 31, 2017

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Forest Fire Situation Update - Northwest Region - August 31, 2017
Trout Lake Fire

Eleven Confirmed New Fires

 by Deb MacLean

THUNDER BAY – There were five new forest fires reported by the late afternoon of August 30 in the Northwest Region and there were 11 confirmed fires by day’s end on August 29.

Smoke is drifting into the region in the Kenora, Fort Frances and Dryden areas from large fires burning in northern and western Canada and the United States. Smoky conditions will likely exist until weather patterns change. People with health concerns from smoke should call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. If they think there is a fire in their immediate area they can call 310-FIRE (3473).

For updates on the smoke and fire situation people can call the Northwest Region forest fire information hotline at 1-888-258-8842

There are fires burning in conservation reserves in the region. A prescribed burn on three islands in the Trout Lake Conservation Reserve – Namekosipiink in the Red Lake District and an island fire managed under the Lac Seul Conservation Reserve in the Sioux Lookout District.

People are advised to stay away from these areas due to possible smoky conditions and fire personnel traffic and risk due to fire activity. For more information for Red Lake call 807-727-2253 and for Sioux Lookout call 807-737-5020.

People interested in prescribed burns in Ontario can check them out on the fire page – prescribed burns

Namekosipiink – Trout Lake Islands – Red Lake District

Forest Fire Situation Update - Northwest Region - August 31, 2017
A lengthy fire return cycle and active suppression of fire occurrences over several decades has excluded natural or human-caused fire on the islands of Trout Lake, or Namekosipiink in the Ojibway language/Anishinaapemowin. This has resulted in reduced species diversity and forest health. The re-introduction of fire to selected islands on Trout Lake will help to restore ecological integrity, provide suitable habitat to boreal species such as the Woodland Caribou, contribute to the cultural revitalization of NamekosipiiwAnishinaape and provide an opportunity for cross-cultural learning. In collaboration between the MNRF and Lac Seul First Nation, the 2017 low complexity prescribed burn occurred on three islands totalling 12 hectares in size. Any adverse fire spread will be limited by areas of open water separating the target islands from the adjacent mainland.

The forest fire hazard is high to extreme across most of the region and high winds are forecast to come into the region ahead of a storm system. This may result in more extreme fire behaviour under windy conditions.

Nipigon Fire Number 099 is under control. An incident management team is in the process of demobilizing from this fire. There is a travel advisory in place to ensure firefighter and public safety. Individuals travelling the Camp 81 Road may encounter closures to some spur roads (e.g. Main Road 7) to ensure safety and support fire suppression.  Recreational users may want to consider alternate routes like the Lachance or Gorge Creek roads instead.

To track the fire hazards and to see a complete list of fires across the province click on our interactive map.

Provincial Resources

  • There are 109 personnel from Ontario currently supporting the firefighting effort in British Columbia as well as 10,000 lengths of hose, water pumps and two structural protection units. Additional resources are scheduled to travel to British Columbia on August 31 and September 01.
  • Ontario is also support firefighting efforts in northern Manitoba with an air attack package of two CL-415 heavy waterbombers, a Birddog aircraft and an Air Attack Officer. Additional FireRanger resources are scheduled to travel to northern Manitoba on September 01.
  • Quebec and the United States have been providing support to Ontario with a fire behaviour analyst from Quebec in the Northwest Region, and as part of a Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact (GLFFC) agreement there are 15 firefighters from the states of Michigan and Wisconsin who have been taking action on a fire in northern Nipigon District. The fire is under control and demobilization has begun on the fire.
  • As part of normal rotation of staff deployed out of province, there will also be personnel returning to their home bases in the coming days.

Fire numbers and online information:

 

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