June 15, 2023 – Northeast Region Wildfire Update
As of the early evening of June 15, no new wildfires have been reported in the Northeast Region. However, 21 active fires continue to challenge the firefighting efforts. Notable fires include Chapleau 3, Chapleau 6, Cochrane 6 and 7, Kirkland Lake 5, Sudbury 10 and 17, Sudbury 19, Timmins 7, and Wawa 3. These fires vary in size and intensity, with the largest, Cochrane 7, spanning a massive 10,719 hectares. Firefighting resources including heavy equipment, crews, and helicopters have been deployed across these sites.
Fires of note:
- Chapleau 3 was confirmed on June 1. It is a 3,916 hectare wildland fire located 2 km south of October Lake and 2.5 km west of Vichaw Lake. It is not under control. This fire has seen minimal fire activity over the past couple days.
- Chapleau 6 was confirmed on June 4. It is a 1,228 hectare wildland fire located 2.5 km west of Morin Lake and 1 km east of Bolkow Lake. It is not under control.
- Cochrane 6 was confirmed June 2. It is a 1,239 hectare wildland fire located 9 km west of Lake Abitibi and 1 km east of Marathon Lake. It is not under control. This fire is holding along cat guards, roads, and natural boundaries.
- Cochrane 7 was confirmed on June 2. It is a 10,719 hectare wildland fire is located northeast of Lake Abitibi and 7 km southwest of Joe Lake. It is not under control. Heavy equipment continues to be utilized to aid in suppression efforts.
- Kirkland Lake 5 was confirmed on June 7. It is a 2,300 hectare wildland fire located north of Lady Evelyn Lake. It is not under control. Helicopters have them assigned the fire.
- Sudbury 10 was confirmed on June 2. It has been remapped to 1,370 hectares and is located 3 km west of Fox Lake and 5 km east of Acheson Lake. It is not under control.
- Sudbury 17 was confirmed June 4. It is a 5,857 hectare wildland fire located 3 km west of Madawanson Lake and 0.5 km east of Pilot Lake. Crews and heavy equipment are committed to the fire. It is not under control.
- Sudbury 19 was confirmed on June 4. It is a 459 hectares wildland fire located south of Shakwa Lake and 1 km west of Lower Shakwa Lake. It is not under control.
- Timmins 7 was confirmed on June 4. It is a 149 hectare wildland fire located 0.3 km northeast of Ahsine Lake. It is not under control. Crews are working on the east flank of the fire.
- Wawa 3 was confirmed on May 27. It is a 6,678 hectare wildland fire located south of Trent Lake and Round Lake, and 5 km northwest of Duffy Lake. It is being held
Fire Hazard and Implementation Orders
The fire hazard for areas between Marathon, Hearst, Smooth Rock Falls, and northwards, fluctuates between moderate to high. The rest of the Northeast Region reports a low fire hazard. Despite the varying fire hazards, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for several districts due to the extreme forest fire hazard. This includes campfire restrictions and suspension of all burning permits.
Weather Impact and Fire Prevention
Scattered rainfall across Ontario hasn’t doused the fire situation. In fact, it brings along with it lightning, which can strike a tree, igniting a fire under the forest floor. These “holdover lightning fires” can reappear up to a week later when the weather dries, winds pick up, and temperatures rebound. Fire management staff will be monitoring for such fires over the coming days as the warm and dry weather is expected to return later this week.
The current Restricted Fire Zone, a temporary measure to eliminate preventable human-caused fires, remains in effect for the entire fire region of Ontario until further notice due to the extreme fire situation and hazard Northern and Central Ontario face.
Restricted Fire Zone
Due to the extreme forest fire hazard, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone effective Thursday, June 1, at 12:01 a.m. local time for the districts of Hearst/Cochrane/Kapuskasing, Chapleau/Wawa, Timmins/Kirkland Lake, Sault Ste Marie/Blind River, Sudbury, North Bay, Minden/Parry Sound/Bracebridge, Pembroke, a northern portion of the Peterborough/Bancroft District, and the southeastern portion of the Far North District. No open air burning, including campfires, is permitted within the boundaries of a Restricted Fire Zone. Portable gas or propane stoves may be used for cooking and warmth BUT must be handled with extreme caution. All burning permits are suspended. The Restricted Fire Zone is in place until further notice.
Despite the scattered rain Ontario has received the last couple of days, it is often accompanied by lightning which can strike a tree, and ignite a fire under the forest floor. Once the weather dries up, winds pick up and temperatures rebound those holdover lightning fires can appear up to about a week later. AFFES Fire management staff will be monitoring for holdover lightning fires over the coming days as a result as we see the warm and dry weather rebound this week and rainfall dissipate.
The current Restricted Fire Zone was put in place due to the extreme fire situation and hazard Northern and Central Ontario have been facing. It is a temporary measure to eliminate preventable human-caused fires while the forest and landscape is highly susceptible to fire starts.
At this time, the Restricted Fire Zone is in place for the entire fire region of Ontario until further notice.
Report a Wildland Fire
To report a wildland fire located north of the French and Mattawa Rivers, please dial 310-FIRE. To report a forest fire located south of the French or Mattawa Rivers, please dial 911.