Air Quality Advisory In Effect in Kenora, Red Lake and Sioux Lookout
Thunder Bay / Kenora – Wildfire Update – There were 14 new fires confirmed in the northwest region by the afternoon of May 18 with more reports being investigated at this time.
The Northwestern Health Unit states, “Due to active forest fires in the region, some communities in Northwestern Ontario are experiencing smoke in the air. An air quality alert has been issued today for the Kenora, Red Lake, and Sioux Lookout areas”.
Forest fire smoke is made up of a mixture of gases and very small particles that can be harmful to your health.
Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) reminds the public to reduce the length of time they are exposed to the forest fire smoke and the amount of air breathed in. Individuals most at risk of harm include children, elderly, pregnant women, people with heart or lung conditions, or persons with active and/or physical jobs.
- Kenora 30 is located north of Willard Lake, approximately 38 kilometres east of Kenora. The fire is not under control at 4.0 hectares in size.
- Thunder Bay 6 was located in the Nolalu area, approximately 1.5 kilometres east of the junction of Hwy. 588 and Old School Rd. The fire is out at 0.1 hectares.
- Dryden 14 is located west of Chancellor Lake, approximately 37 kilometres southwest of Dryden. The fire is not under control at 0.5 hectares.
- Thunder Bay 7 is located west of the community of Collins, approximately 30 kilometres west of Armstrong. The 0.7-hectare fire is not under control.
- Sioux Lookout 4 is located north of Eric Lake near Hwy. 599, approximately 41 kilometres south of Pickle Lake. The fire is not under control at 0.4 hectares in size.
- Dryden 15 is being held at 0.1 hectares and is located near Eagle Lake, approximately 32 kilometres west of Dryden
- Kenora 31 is not under control at 10 hectares and is located near Maynard Lake, approximately 84 kilometres northeast of Kenora
- Thunder Bay 8 is not under control at 120 hectares and is located off Saari Road, 25 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay
- Thunder Bay 9 is not under control at 0.3 hectares and is located near Towle Lake, 77 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay
- Thunder Bay 10 is not under control at 1.8 hectares and is located near Dog Lake, 50 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay
- Red Lake 12 is not under control at 45 hectares and is located near Long legged Lake, approximately 41 kilometres southwest of Red Lake.
- Sioux Lookout 5 is not under control at 50 hectares and is located near Wapesi Lake, approximately 46 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout
- Thunder Bay 11 is not under control at 0.1 hectares and is located off of Wheal Road, approximately 38 kilometres west of Thunder Bay.
- Fort Frances 6 is not under control at 5 hectares and is located 23 kilometres north of Rainy River.
Fires of Note
Kenora 25 is not under control at 150 hectares. Waterbombers have been quite effective today and have been over the fire all day. Crews are setting up sprinklers on structures near the fire.
Kenora 27 is not under control at 1000 hectares. This fire is 52 kilometres north of Kenora. Crews are setting up sprinklers on structures in the area ahead of the fire.
- At the time of this update, there are 26 active fires in the region. 20 fires are not under control, five fires are being held and one fire is under control.
- The fire hazard is high to extreme across the region.
- To see the fire hazard near you, consult the interactive fire map at Ontario.ca/forestfire
Help fight forest fires: Stay clear of waterbombers!
When waterbombers approach a body of water, move close to the shore so they can perform their scoop safely.
A waterbomber will not scoop from a lake or river if encroaching watercraft pose a safety hazard.
Be safe, stay clear of waterbombers.
Follow these tips to protect you and your family:
- If it looks smoky outside, stay inside as much as possible with your windows and doors closed. If you have room air cleaners with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, turn them on.
- To help keep particle levels lower indoors avoid using items that ‘burn’, such as wood stoves and gas stoves or even candles.
- If you have an air conditioner set it to ‘recirculate’ and keep it running to help filter and cool the air. If you do not have air conditioning, if possible, try spending some time in an air-conditioned place, such as a mall or library, to cool off.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking puts even more harmful particles in your lungs and affects the quality of air for people around you.
- If you have asthma, use your medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you are supposed to measure your peak flows, make sure you do so. Call your doctor or nurse if your symptoms worsen.
- If you are in your car or truck, keep the windows closed and put the air system on ‘recirculate’.For more information, please contact your local health unit office to speak with a public health inspector.