Northwest Region Wildfire Update: 9 New Fires and 47 Active Fires as of July 3, 2023

Wildfire Update

THUNDER BAY – Wildfire Update – The Northwest Region of Ontario has seen nine new fires emerge by the afternoon of July 3, 2023, according to the report from the Aviation, Forest Fire, and Emergency Services.

New Fires Across Northwest Region

These new fires, scattered across the Kenora, Sioux Lookout, Nipigon, and Fort Frances areas, range in size from 0.1 hectares to 8.0 hectares. While some of these fires have already been extinguished or brought under control, many remain active. In addition to these, two fires were confirmed from the evening of July 2, neither of which is under control.

Currently, there are 47 active fires across the Northwest Region, with 15 of these fires still not under control. The region’s fire hazard varies from low to extreme, with the central part facing mainly high to extreme risk.

Significant Northwest Fires

Several larger fires, dubbed “Northwest Fires of Note”, have also been reported, posing significant threats. These include Sioux Lookout 33, Sioux Lookout 44, Sioux Lookout 53, Nipigon 13, Nipigon 19, and Red Lake 28, ranging from 334 hectares to 60,394 hectares in size. These fires are currently not under control, and firefighting crews, alongside helicopter bucketing operations, continue to work on their containment.

Restricted Fire Zone Implemented

In response to the escalating fire hazard, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone across the entire fire region of Ontario (Zones 1 to 36). This restriction prohibits open-air burning, including campfires, and suspends all burning permits. Portable gas or propane stoves are allowed but must be used with extreme caution.

Fireworks and Fire Prevention

Given the current state of escalated fire activity, the public is advised to attend organized firework events instead of igniting their own. While fireworks are not banned under the Restricted Fire Zone, the Forest Fire Prevention Act requires that no residue from the use of fireworks, firearms, flares, or explosives be left unextinguished within or near a forest area. Violation of this act can lead to charges and potential responsibility for firefighting costs.

Reporting a Wildland Fire

The public is encouraged to report any wildland fire located north of the French and Mattawa rivers by dialing 310-FIRE. For any forest fire located south of these rivers, dial 911.

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