Northwest District Wildfire Update – August 17, 2018

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Forest Fire Update

THUNDER BAY – There were four new fires confirmed in the region by the afternoon of August 16.

  • Kenora 114 has been declared out at 0.1 hectares and was located west of Anishinabi Lake, approximately 95 kilometres northeast of Kenora.
  • Fort Frances 56 is not under control at 0.1 hectares and is located south of Mosher Lake, approximately 55 kilometres northeast of Atikokan.
  • Sioux Lookout 119 is not under control at 0.1 hectares and is located near Arc Lake, approximately 99 kilometres northeast of Sioux Lookout.
  • Red Lake Fire Number 170 is not under control at 160 hectares and is located near Sharpstone Lake, approximately 140 kilometres northwest of Red Lake.

There are 63 active fires in the region, 59 of which are either under observation, being held or under control.

Fire hazard in the Northwest Region
The forest fire hazard is high to extreme across most of the region with an area of low to moderate hazard in the far north of Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Nipigon districts.

Smoke Drift

Smoke from large fires in Western Canada and the United States continues to drift east and will affect areas throughout Ontario for today. For information about the impacts smoke on your health please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Ontario Parks restricts access in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park
Several large fires in Woodland Caribou Park have necessitated some restrictions for backcountry travelers. Ontario Parks is restricting access to some canoe routes as well as access to a number of lakes. You can find more details here.

Restricted Fire Zone

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for portions of the Northwest Region, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 until further notice.

This order is required to reduce the possibility of unwanted human-caused fires. Resources are presently adequate though the potential for problematic fires exist.

The Restricted Fire Zone includes the Kenora, Fort Frances, and Dryden Districts, as well as the southern portions of Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay Districts.

Excluded from the Restricted Fire Zone is the City of Thunder Bay and organized municipalities of Neebing, Gillies, O’Connor, Oliver/Paipoonge, Shuniah, and Dorion.

The unincorporated areas of Pass Lake and Sleeping Giant Provincial Park are also excluded from the Restricted Fire Zone. Residents outside the Restricted Fire Zone are urged to check with the municipal fire department for local burning restrictions.

The use of open fires, such as campfires or burning of debris is not permitted. Portable gas and propane are allowed but must be safely managed.

Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to have a campfire during a Restricted Fire Zone provided certain conditions are met.

Failure to comply with a Restricted Fire Zone could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as the financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire caused by the illegal act. 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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