Forest Fire Situation Update Northwest Region May 23, 2018

Forest Fire Update

THUNDER BAY – There were two new fires confirmed by the afternoon of Wednesday, May 23. Red Lake Fire Number 31 is not under control at 3.8 hectares and is located near Borel Lake. Kenora Fire Number 47 is not under control at 0.1 hectares and is located south of Esther Lake.

The fire of note in the Northwest Region is Red Lake Fire Number 30 located in the far north of Red Lake District near the Manitoba border. It is approximately 70 kilometres west of Poplar Hill First Nation. The fire entered Ontario from Manitoba on May 22. The fire is 1600 hectares in size on the Ontario side of the fire. Crews have established sprinkler protection on structures in the area and are developing plans to use aerial ignition to bring the fire to natural boundaries.

The forest fire hazard is high across most of the Northwest Region with an area of extreme hazard in the Red Lake District.

Smoke drift from large fires in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northern Minnesota may be visible today along the US and Manitoba Border Areas. Concentrations will be moderate to high in communities close to these fires and will be noticeable at ground levels.

Restricted Fire Zone remains in place for Northwest Region

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) has declared a Restricted Fire Zone in the Districts of Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden and the southern portion of the Red Lake, Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout Districts and along the north shore of Lake Superior in the Nipigon District.

During a Restricted Fire Zone, the use of open fires – such as campfires, or burning of brush or debris, is restricted. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire.

Portable gas or propane stoves are permitted for use for cooking or warmth, though they should be closely monitored. Portable charcoal BBQs and Hibachis are not permitted unless within 100 metres of a dwelling, or within an organized campground.

Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to enjoy campfires during a Restricted Fire Zone period provided they meet certain conditions.

The Restricted Fire Zone is a temporary measure to reduce the number of new human-caused wildfires.

To see a complete list of fires across the province click on our interactive map. You can also get the latest update on the condition of any fire by clicking the fire icon.

Fire numbers and online information:


Report prepared by Jonathan Scott


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