June 26, 2023 – Northwest District Wildfire Update: Fire Status and Safety Measures

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Wildfire Update

Northwest District New Fire and Active Fire Situation

THUNDER BAY – Wildfire Update – A new fire, Sioux Lookout 56, was confirmed in the Northwest region on the afternoon of June 26. Located near Andy Lake, approximately 86 kilometers west of Pickle Lake, the fire covers an area of three hectares and is currently not under control.

At present, there are a total of 41 active fires in the Northwest Region. Among them, 10 fires remain uncontrolled, three are being held, four fires are under control, and 24 fires are being observed.

Fire Hazard Assessment

The wildland fire hazard in the Northwest Region varies across different sectors. The Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden, Thunder Bay, and Nipigon sectors currently experience a low to moderate fire hazard. However, the Red Lake and Sioux Lookout sectors face a high to extreme fire hazard.

Notable Fires

Several significant fires require attention in the region:

  • Sioux Lookout 7: Located north of Cat Lake First Nation, this fire spans an area of 16,003 hectares and is now being held.
  • Sioux Lookout 33: Situated on the western edge of Wabakimi Provincial Park, this fire covers a vast area of 51,000 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Ongoing assessments for values and protection are being conducted, with ignition opportunities being evaluated.
  • Nipigon 13: West of Ogoki Lake, this fire spans 30,639 hectares and is not yet under control. Similar to other fires, ongoing assessments for values and protection continue, and additional ignition opportunities will be assessed.
  • Sioux Lookout 53: Sized at 294 hectares, this fire near Bearskin Lake is currently not under control. Air attack efforts have been underway for the past few days.

Restricted Fire Zone and Fireworks

A Restricted Fire Zone has been declared for the entire fire region of Ontario (Zones 1 to 36) due to the extreme forest fire hazard. This zone aims to protect public safety and prohibits open air burning, including campfires. However, portable gas or propane stoves may be used for cooking and warmth with extreme caution. Burning permits are suspended.

Regarding fireworks, it is recommended to attend organized venues instead of setting off personal fireworks during this period of escalated fire activity. The Forest Fire Prevention Act emphasizes the importance of fully extinguishing residue from fireworks within 300 meters of a forest area. Failure to comply may result in charges and potential responsibility for firefighting costs. Local municipalities may have additional by-laws related to fireworks.

Reporting Wildland Fires

To report a wildland fire located north of the French and Mattawa rivers, dial 310-FIRE. For forest fires located south of the French or Mattawa rivers, dial 911.

Stay vigilant and prioritize safety by following the latest updates on the wildfire situation in the Northwest Region.

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