Northwest District Wildfire Update: New Fires Confirmed, Fire Hazard at Extreme Level

Wildfire Season - Waterbomber

Thunder Bay – WILDFIRE UPDATE – The Northwest Region of Ontario is grappling with an escalating wildfire situation, as two new fires have been confirmed.

There are 36 active fires in the Northwest Region. Ten of these fires are not under control, four fires are being held, five fires are under control and 17 fires are being observed. Three fires have been called out in the past 24 hours.

Sioux Lookout 43, spanning 0.2 hectares, was identified west of Frenchman’s Head at Lac Seul First Nation near Sioux Lookout. Fortunately, efforts are successfully holding this fire.

However, Thunder Bay 23, situated near Whitelily Lake, approximately 27 kilometers north of Thunder Bay, covers 0.1 hectares and remains uncontrolled, posing a significant challenge to firefighters.

In addition to the new fires, two more were confirmed on the evening of June 16. Red Lake 35, spanning 0.1 hectares, and Red Lake 36, covering 1.9 hectares, are located just 1.9 hectares away from the community of Poplar Hill. Active suppression efforts are currently underway to combat these fires and prevent their further spread.

Notable Fires in the Northwest Region

Several notable fires continue to pose threats to communities and the environment. Sioux Lookout 7, an extensive fire measuring 11,571 hectares, is located north of Cat Lake First Nation. While hose lines have been established on the southern end of the fire, the northern section is being closely monitored as the fire remains uncontrolled. Similarly, Nipigon 13, west of Ogoki Lake, spans 3,077 hectares and continues to be a cause for concern.

Efforts are underway to assess and protect valuable assets in the vicinity. Nipigon 19, measuring 110.2 hectares, is situated northwest of Ogoki Lake and is also not yet under control. Crews are working tirelessly to establish hose lines, with helicopter bucketing operations and heavy equipment lending support.

Furthermore, Red Lake 28, covering 3,604 hectares and located 50 kilometers north of Lac Seul First Nation, remains uncontrolled as values assessment and protection measures persist. Lastly, Red Lake 32, a fire observed on an island 20 kilometers west of Poplar Hill First Nation, spans 387.8 hectares. Evaluation of ignition opportunities is underway to contain the fire within natural boundaries.

Northwest Fires of Note

    • Sioux Lookout 7 is located north of Cat Lake First Nation and is 11,571 hectares in size. Hose lines have been established on the southern end of the fire while the northern section is being monitored. The fire remains not under control
    • Nipigon 13 is located west of Ogoki Lake and is 3,077 hectares in size and not under control. Values assessment and protection is ongoing.
    • Nipigon 19 is located northwest of Ogoki Lake and is 110.2 hectares in size and not under control. Crews continue to establish hose lines while helicopter bucketing operations and heavy equipment provide support.
    • Red Lake 28 is located 50 kilometers North of Lac Seul First Nation and is 3,604 hectares in size and not under control. Values assessment and protection are ongoing.
    • Red Lake 32 is located 20 kilometers West of Poplar Hill First Nation and is 387.8 hectares in size. The fire is being observed and is located on an island. Ignition opportunities are being evaluated to bring the fire to natural boundaries.

Fire Hazard and Safety Measures

As of the latest update, the Northwest Region is currently combating a total of 36 active fires. Of these, ten fires remain uncontrolled, four are being held, five are under control, and 17 fires are being observed. However, there is some relief as three fires have been extinguished within the past 24 hours.

The fire hazard in the region is currently classified as high to extreme, necessitating strict safety measures. In response, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has implemented a Restricted Fire Zone encompassing the entire fire region of Ontario (Zones 1 to 36). This zone, effective until further notice, prohibits open air burning, including campfires, within its boundaries.

Portable gas or propane stoves may still be used for cooking and warmth, but extreme caution must be exercised.

All burning permits have been suspended to ensure public safety.

If you come across a wildland fire located north of the French and Mattawa rivers, please dial 310-FIRE for reporting. For forest fires located south of these rivers, dial 911.

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