Thunder Bay – NEWS – The Ontario Government is taking additional measures to protect public safety and reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires in Northwest Ontario. “The seriousness of forest fires that are blanketing our Northwest makes restricting industrial operations that could cause new fires necessary to protect public safety – which is our top priority,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “We did not take this action lightly and we appreciate our industry partners coming together to support the community and the work of our wildland firefighters.”
Restrictions are now in place on higher-risk forestry operations that have the potential to cause sparks and ignite fires.
Examples of activities now suspended include: blasting related to road work, the use of mechanized power equipment and power saws for harvesting or processing wood, and all hot works such as welding, torching and grinding.
The Ministry says that this is action is critical to help ensure Ontario’s resources can fight existing and forecasted fires in the extreme fire situation across Northwestern Ontario.
The restrictions, which are in place under the authority of an emergency order currently in place for the Northwest, will remain in effect until further notice.
There are outdoor burning bans in effect across the region.
In Thunder Bay, Mayor Bill Mauro, given the seriousness of the fire situation in Northern Ontario, has been reaching out to stakeholders to plan a meeting, taking place Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM.
Invited to the meeting are the Mayors and Fire Chiefs of local municipalities, including Oliver Paipoonge, Shuniah, Neebing, O’Connor, Conmee and Gillies, as well as Chief Peter Collins of Fort William First Nation, and key officials from the MNRF Regional Office.