Emerging and Ongoing Wildfires Challenging the Northwest Region
Update as of 17:20 CDT, July 13, 2023
Newly Confirmed Fires
THUNDER BAY – Wildfire Update – Four fresh outbreaks of wildfires were confirmed in the Northwest Region by the evening of July 13:
- Thunder Bay 28: This 0.2-hectare fire, near Alphonse Bay on Caribou Lake, approximately 26 kilometers northwest of Armstrong in Wabakimi Provincial Park, is being held.
- Fort Frances 18: Situated near Kirk Lake, roughly 24 kilometers west/northwest of Seine River First Nation, this 0.1-hectare fire is not yet under control.
- Fort Frances 17: Located near the Seine River, approximately 26 kilometers northeast of Atikokan, this 0.1-hectare fire is under control.
- Kenora 34: Positioned approximately one kilometer northwest of the community of Wabaseemoong Independent Nation, this 0.2-hectare fire has been successfully extinguished.
Two additional fires were reported on the evening of July 12:
- Sioux Lookout 77: This fire was located on an island on Lac Seul, approximately 27 kilometers east of Perrault Falls. This 0.1-hectare fire has been successfully extinguished.
- Dryden 28: Situated near Sunray Lake, approximately 29 kilometers east of Savant Lake, this fire is under control and measures 0.6 hectares in size.
At the time of this report, the Northwest Region is dealing with 44 active fires. Among these, seven are not under control, two are being held, five are under control, and 30 are under observation.
Wildfire Hazard Overview
Wildfire hazard conditions vary from low to extreme across the Northwest Region. High hazard conditions are found throughout most of the Kenora, Dryden, and Fort Frances sectors. Thunder Bay, Nipigon, and the southern parts of Sioux Lookout and Red Lake sectors present a mixture of moderate to high hazard. Low hazard conditions are present in the far north.
Several fires are currently posing significant challenges:
- Sioux Lookout 33: Situated on the western edge of Wabakimi Provincial Park, it is 60,394 hectares in size and not under control. Value assessment and protection is ongoing, with helicopter bucket operations providing continuous support.
- Sioux Lookout 44: This 6,730-hectare fire, located on the west side of Lake St. Joseph, is not under control. Helicopter bucketing operations continue to work on priority areas on the fire, with values protection ongoing.
- Nipigon 19: Located northwest of Ogoki Lake, this 10,182-hectare fire is not under control. Crews continue to establish hose lines and make good progress alongside helicopter bucket machines to limit the fire’s spread. Values protection is ongoing.
- Red Lake 28: This 19,177-hectare fire is located 40 kilometers North of Lac Seul First Nation and is not under control. Crews are establishing hose lines, with helicopter bucketing operations providing support on the north and west end of the fire. Values protection is ongoing.
Reporting Wildland Fires
If you spot a wildland fire north of the French and Mattawa rivers, please call 310-FIRE. For fires south of the French or Mattawa rivers, dial 911.
Fire Prevention Tips
It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent wildfires. Here are some tips:
- Ensure your fire is out: If you have a campfire or a fire pit, make sure the fire is completely out before leaving it. Douse it with water, stir the ashes, and douse it again.
- Dispose of cigarettes properly: Don’t throw cigarette butts out of car windows or into vegetation. Dispose of them properly in a designated container.
- Use machinery responsibly: Sparks from machinery like chainsaws or lawnmowers can ignite a wildfire. Use these items responsibly, and ensure they are in good working order with no leaks.
- Respect fire bans and restrictions: During times of high fire risk, respect any fire bans or restrictions that have been put in place. They are there to prevent the start of new wildfires.
- Report any wildfires: If you see a wildfire, report it immediately. Quick action can help firefighters respond quickly and control the fire.