Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services: Northwest Fire Region Report for June 27, 2023

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Wildfire Season - Waterbomber

By NetNewsLedger Staff

Northwest Region Experiences Increased Fire Activity

THUNDER BAY – Wildfire Update – The Northwest Region of Ontario is facing an intensification in wildfire incidents. As of the late afternoon of June 27, two new fires have been confirmed, furthering the region’s ongoing firefighting challenges.

There were two new fires confirmed in the Northwest Region by the late afternoon of June 27:

  • Fort Frances 13 is situated on an island on Rainy Lake, approximately 14 kilometres north of Fort Frances. The 0.3 hectare fire is currently being held.
  • Sioux Lookout 57 is located near Nemebina Lake, approximately 34 kilometres northwest of Cat Lake First Nation. The 0.2 hectare fire is under observation.

These new incidents add to the existing 41 active fires in the Northwest Region. Among these, nine fires are not under control, four are being held, three are under control, and 25 are under observation. Two fires were extinguished in the past 24 hours.

The wildfire hazard is currently low to moderate in the Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances Thunder Bay and southern Nipigon sectors. Meanwhile, the Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and northern Nipigon sectors mainly feature high hazard conditions. For a more detailed view of the fire hazard in your area and an overview of regional fires, check our Interactive Map.

Northwest Fires of Note

  • Sioux Lookout 33 is located on the western edge of Wabakimi Provincial Park. It spans 51,000 hectares and is not yet under control. The assessment of values and protection is ongoing, with ignition opportunities being evaluated.
  • Nipigon 13, west of Ogoki Lake, covers 30,639.3 hectares and is not under control. Like Sioux Lookout 33, it is also undergoing values assessment and protection, and more ignition opportunities are being evaluated.
  • Sioux Lookout 53 measures 294 hectares and is not under control. Air attack has been working the fire for the past couple of days. The fire is situated 3.5km east of the Bearskin Lake First Nation.
  • Nipigon 19 is located northwest of Ogoki Lake and measures 8705.83 hectares. It is not under control. Helicopter bucket operations were deployed yesterday to work on priority areas of the fire to help limit the spread.
  • Sioux Lookout 44, located on the west side of St. Joseph Lake, spans 4,159 hectares and is not under control. Successful ignition operations were carried out yesterday.
  • Red Lake 28, 40 kilometers north of Lac Seul First Nation, is 18,029 hectares in size and not under control. Helicopter bucket operations continued yesterday on the southeast end of the fire. Successful ignition operations were conducted yesterday.

Restricted Fire Zone

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for the entire fire region of Ontario (Zones 1 to 36) due to the extreme forest fire hazard. The Restricted Fire Zone is in effect until further notice to protect public safety. Open air burning, including campfires, is not permitted within the boundaries of a Restricted Fire Zone. However, portable gas or propane stoves may be used for cooking and warmth but must be handled with extreme caution. All burning permits are suspended.

Fireworks

While fireworks are a thrilling part of summer celebrations, we encourage residents to attend organized fireworks events instead of setting off their own during this time of heightened fire activity. Although fireworks are not restricted during the Restricted FireZone, the Forest Fire Prevention Act (FFPA) states:

“No person who discharges a firearm, a flare, fireworks or explosives in or within 300 metres of a forest area shall leave any residue from the discharge unextinguished.”

During periods of hot, dry weather, sparks and embers can ignite forest fires. All fires are investigated to determine the cause. Individuals found responsible can be charged under the Act and may be held liable for the cost of extinguishing the fire. We also remind everyone to check with their local municipality for additional municipal by-laws for fireworks.

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

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