July 1, 2023 – Northwest District Wildfire Update: 42 Active Fires

Wildfire Update

One New Fire Confirmed in the Northwest Region

Thunder Bay – Wildfire Update – One new fire has been confirmed in the Northwest Region during the early evening of July 1. Red Lake 41 is situated near Confusion River, approximately 67 kilometers west of Ear Falls. The fire covers an area of 0.1 hectare and is currently not under control.

Fire Status Overview

As of this update, the Northwest Region is experiencing a total of 42 active fires. Among these fires, nine remain uncontrolled, two are being held, six are under control, and 25 are being observed.

Wildland Fire Hazard and Outlook

The wildland fire hazard in the region is predominantly moderate to low, with a high hazard area identified in the northern part of the Nipigon sector. However, it is expected that the regional fire hazard will significantly increase over the next 24 hours.

Northwest Fires of Note

Several fires in the Northwest Region are currently of significant concern:

  1. Sioux Lookout 33: Located on the western edge of Wabakimi Provincial Park, this fire spans an extensive area of 60,394 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Values assessment and protection efforts are ongoing, while ignition operations are temporarily on hold due to inclement weather.
  2. Sioux Lookout 44: Situated on the west side of Lake St. Joseph, this fire covers an area of 6,730 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support in containing the fire.
  3. Sioux Lookout 53: Positioned 3.5 kilometers east of Bearskin Lake First Nation, this fire spans 300 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Crews are actively establishing hose lines, and helicopter bucketing operations are assisting in fire suppression.
  4. Nipigon 13: Located west of Ogoki Lake, this fire covers an area of 30,639 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Values assessment and protection efforts are currently underway.
  5. Nipigon 19: Situated northwest of Ogoki Lake, this fire spans 8,705 hectares and remains uncontrolled. Helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support in limiting the fire’s spread.
  6. Red Lake 28: Positioned 40 kilometers north of Lac Seul First Nation, this fire covers an area of 19,177.07 hectares and is currently not under control. Helicopter bucketing operations are being utilized to support firefighting efforts.

Restricted Fire Zone in Effect

Due to the extreme forest fire hazard, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for the entire fire region of Ontario (Zones 1 to 36). This restriction is in effect until further notice, aiming to protect public safety. Within the Restricted Fire Zone, open air burning, including campfires, is strictly prohibited. However, portable gas or propane stoves may be used for cooking and warmth with utmost caution. All burning permits are suspended. For a detailed map of the areas affected by the Restricted Fire Zone, please click on the provided link.

Fireworks Safety

While fireworks are an exciting part of summer, considering the current heightened fire activity, we strongly recommend attending organized fireworks venues instead of setting off your own. It’s important to note that fireworks are not restricted during the Restricted Fire Zone. However, under the Forest Fire Prevention Act (FFPA), it is crucial to extinguish any residue from the discharge of firearms, flares, fireworks, or explosives within 300 meters of a forest area. During hot and dry weather conditions, sparks and embers can easily ignite forest fires. All fires are thoroughly investigated to determine their cause. Individuals who fail to comply with the Act can face charges and may be held responsible for the cost of firefighting operations. We advise checking with your local municipality for any additional municipal by-laws regarding fireworks.

Report a Wildland Fire

To report a wildland fire located north of the French and Mattawa rivers, please dial 310-FIRE. For forest fires located south of the French or Mattawa rivers, please dial 911 promptly to report the incident. Your cooperation in reporting wildfires is of utmost importance in ensuring a swift response to fire-related emergencies.

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