by Isabelle Chenard
Wild Fire Update – This morning, there are 66 active forest fires in the Northeast Region. 27 of these fires are not yet under control, while 39 are either being held, under control or being observed.
There were 15 new starts in the northeast yesterday, 7 of which are already out at the time of this update. Thunderstorms once again swept through Northeastern Ontario on July 9th and we expect to continue to find several new starts as a result over the coming week.
In fact, we have already received a dozen reports this morning and detection aircraft are investigating.
There was no rain at all recorded overnight last night, and since June 29th which was the Friday before the Canada Day long weekend, we have recorded over 165,000 lightning strikes across the Ontario.
We are expecting mainly sunny skies today in Northeastern Ontario, with relatively light northerly winds, so smoke from fires in Northern Ontario will drift to the south again today. Yesterday Ontario residents as far south as cottage country saw smoky conditions as a result of smoke blowing south from moderate northerly winds. We are expecting the fires to be more active today than they have been Monday and Tuesday, so there may be an increase in the amount of smoke, certainly in the North Bay district.
Yesterday, the MNRF district imposed travel restrictions along several roads in the Temagami area, information can be found on MNRF’s facebook page, Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services Twitter page and contact information for the North Bay District staff are indicated on our website at Ontario.ca/forestfire. There you can also check our interactive fire map to find out the size, location, status of current forest fires, and remember that there is also a restricted fire zone in effect in many parts of Northeastern Ontario, so campfires and outdoor burning are not permitted at this time. You can check the boundaries of the restricted fire zone on our map as well.
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAMS
Ontario is deploying incident management teams over the coming days to manage priority fires. Details will become available later this week.
RESOURCES FROM OUT-OF-PROVINCE
- Fire crews from Alberta and British Columbia have now arrived in Ontario to assist with the fire situation. 15 – 3 person crews from British Columbia and 10 – 4 person crews from Alberta have been deployed to priority fires tonight.
- CL415 waterbombers and T802 Fire Boss amphibians equipment from Alberta and Saskatchewan are currently supporting Ontario’s fire suppression operations.
- AFFES is reminding the public that if they do see flames or smoke, please report it, and stay away from the area in the interest of public safety.
- If you have questions or concerns about smoke and your health, please contact TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
FOREST FIRE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IMPLEMENTED BY MNRF’S NORTH BAY DISTRICT
Effective as of 5:00 p.m. on July 9, 2018, an Implementation Order was issued by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry restricting access to an area of Temagami where there are public safety hazards as a result of increased fire activity.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is advising the public that travel restrictions have been implemented in McLaren’s Road, Gibbons Road, Baie-Jeanne Road, South Pardo Road, and St. Joseph’s Road including George Gordon and Iron Lake Road, Red Squirrel Lake Road beyond the Jack Pine Road intersection and all access into Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park in the North Bay District.
Access to these areas is restricted and roadblocks will be set-up to notify the public of the closure. Travel restrictions are in place and permits are required to travel through this area. Within the area, no Crown land camping, no day trips, no hiking, no ATVs and no access to private or commercial camps or cottages are permitted.
This measure is meant to protect the public and ensure public safety while allowing fire personnel to safely fight forest fires in the identified area.
For information about these travel restrictions: 705-475-5546
Please visit Ontario.ca/forestfire as this information is being updated regularly.
(Sikorsky 61 helicopter bucketing over North Bay 42 on July 8)
(North Bay 42 in the foreground, and North Bay 62 with associated smoke drift in the background)
FIRE NUMBERS AND ONLINE INFORMATION:
- To report a forest fire located north of the French and Mattawa rivers, please dial 310-FIRE (3473)
- To report a forest fire located south of the French or Mattawa rivers, please dial 911.
- Follow us on Twitter: in English @ONForestFires or in French @ONFeuDeForêt
- For up to date information on current fires in the province or to check the forest fire hazard in your area, visit Ontario.ca/forestfire
For guidelines on safe outdoor fire management ontario.ca/fireprevention