THUNDER BAY — The Northwest Fire Region issued an update regarding the wildfire situation as of September 12, 2023, at 5:37 PM CDT.
Current Wildfire Scenario
As of this update, the Northwest Region confronts a total of 23 active fires. Among these, one fire is being held, five are under control, and 17 fires are currently under observation. Firefighting efforts remain ongoing and dedicated to managing these incidents effectively.
Recent Fire Discoveries
In the late afternoon of September 12, the Northwest Region witnessed the discovery of four new fires:
- Nipigon 110 is situated approximately 3.8 kilometers northwest of Balson Lake and 18.4 kilometers southeast of Makokibatan Lake. This fire encompasses an area of 1.5 hectares and is presently under observation.
- Nipigon 111 is positioned approximately 30.7 kilometers southwest of Eabametoong First Nation, near the shore of Peninsular Lake. Covering 0.5 hectares, this fire is currently under observation.
- Nipigon 112 can be found approximately 10.0 kilometers south of Makokibatan Lake and 12.1 kilometers northeast of Whitefish Lake. This fire spans 3.0 hectares and is under observation.
- Red Lake 75 was located around 24.5 kilometers southwest of Sandy Lake First Nation and 3.6 kilometers northeast of North Trout Lake. This fire, measuring 0.1 hectares, has been successfully extinguished as of this afternoon.
Wildfire Hazard Assessment
The wildland fire hazard assessment across the Northwest Region primarily indicates moderate conditions this afternoon. A zone of low hazard extends southward from De Lesseps Lake to Thunder Bay and Rainy Lake. Additionally, a few isolated areas exhibit high fire hazard, including Vermilion Bay, Otatakan Lake, Sachigo Lake, and Marten Falls First Nation. Vigilance and adherence to safety protocols are essential across all regions.
Fire Safety Reminders
Aviation, Forest Fire, and Emergency Services emphasize the importance of outdoor burning caution, especially as the region transitions into fall conditions. Alternative methods such as composting or utilizing local landfills for yard waste disposal are encouraged. If outdoor burning is necessary, strict compliance with Ontario’s Outdoor Burning Regulations is essential. These regulations include igniting fires no earlier than two hours before sunset and extinguishing them no later than two hours after sunrise. Adequate tools and water for fire containment must be readily available.
Communities play a pivotal role in wildfire safety. Residents are urged to maintain a safe distance from waterbombers when they approach bodies of water for scoop operations. Encroaching watercraft can pose significant safety risks during these critical operations.
Drone Safety Guidelines
Flying drones around active forest fires remains both perilous and unlawful. Such actions jeopardize the lives of pilots, firefighters, and other emergency personnel. Strict adherence to these regulations is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of firefighting operations.
Reporting Wildland Fires
The Northwest Fire Region encourages prompt reporting of any wildland fires. To report a wildland fire situated 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. Timely reporting is indispensable for enabling rapid response and the efficient management of wildfires throughout the region. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and contribute to protecting our communities.