June 30, 2023 Northwest District 44 Active Wildfires – No New Fires Confirmed

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Wildfire Update

Thunder Bay – Wildfire Update – As of the late afternoon of June 30, no new fires have been confirmed in the Northwest Region. However, the region continues to face multiple ongoing fires, demanding significant attention and resources.

Active Fires in the Northwest Region

The Northwest Region currently reports a total of 44 active fires. Among these, eight fires remain uncontrolled, three are being held, seven are under control, and 25 are being monitored. Over the past 24 hours, two fires have been called out.

Since the start of the fire season on April 1, the Northwest Region has witnessed 216 fires, scorching a total area of 249,441 hectares. Comparatively, the 10-year average for hectares burned by this point in the fire season across the entire province stands at 92,571 hectares.

Fire Hazard Conditions 

The wildland fire hazard in the region is predominantly low, with pockets of moderate to high hazard in the Red Lake and northern Nipigon sectors.

Notable Fires in the Northwest

Several fires are drawing attention due to their size and impact:

  1. Sioux Lookout 33: This fire, spanning 60,394 hectares, is situated on the western edge of Wabakimi Provincial Park. Currently, it remains uncontrolled, with ongoing assessment and protection measures. Ignition operations are currently on hold due to inclement weather.
  2. Sioux Lookout 44: Located on the west side of Lake St. Joseph, this fire covers an area of 6,730 hectares and is not under control. Helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support in fire suppression efforts.
  3. Sioux Lookout 53: Situated 3.5 kilometers east of the Bearskin Lake First Nation, this fire encompasses 300 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Crews are working to establish hose lines, while helicopter bucketing operations contribute to the firefighting operations. Recent precipitation has aided in suppression efforts.
  4. Nipigon 13: Positioned west of Ogoki Lake, this fire measures 30,639.3 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Ongoing assessment and protection activities are in progress.
  5. Nipigon 19: Northwest of Ogoki Lake, this fire spans 8,705 hectares and is not under control. Helicopter bucket operations are focusing on priority areas to limit its spread.
  6. Red Lake 28: Located 40 kilometers north of Lac Seul First Nation, this fire covers an area of 19,177 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Aerial operations were limited recently due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Restricted Fire Zone

Due to the extreme forest fire hazard, a Restricted Fire Zone has been declared for the entire fire region of Ontario, encompassing Zones 1 to 36. The Restricted Fire Zone is in effect until further notice, prioritizing public safety. Within the boundaries of the Restricted Fire Zone, all open-air burning, including campfires, is strictly prohibited. However, portable gas or propane stoves may be used cautiously for cooking and warmth. All burning permits are suspended. Refer to the provided link for a map outlining the areas affected by the Restricted Fire Zone.

Fireworks and Fire Prevention

Considering the heightened fire activity, it is advisable to attend organized fireworks venues instead of setting off fireworks individually. While fireworks are not restricted during the Restricted Fire Zone, it is essential to adhere to the regulations outlined in the Forest Fire Prevention Act. Any residue from firearm discharges, flares, fireworks, or explosives within 300 meters of a forested area must be fully extinguished to prevent fire ignition. Violators can face charges under the Act and may be held responsible for the cost of fire suppression. Consult your local municipality for additional municipal by-laws regarding fireworks.

Reporting a Wildland Fire

To report a wildland fire north of the French and Mattawa rivers, dial 310-FIRE. For fires south of these rivers, please dial 911. Prompt reporting is crucial for effective fire response and containment efforts.

This is the NetNewsLedger wildfire news report, providing you with the latest updates on the Northwest District wildfires.