Several active fire signals and smoke plumes are recorded by OSEI on 4 May 1999.
Fig.1. and Fig.2. NOAA image of the vegetation fires in Ontario, Canada, and Michigan, U.S.A., on 4 May 1999 (Source: NOAA http://www.osei.noaa.gov/)
About 54 fires broke out in Ontario over the weekend, and in Manitoba there are burning 65 fires around the province. The province Ontario declared a ban for open fires on Crown land. Other provinces in Canada face similar fire danger in the moment, and burning permits are void throughout some provinces. On the East Coast the forest fire index turn “high”.
Dozens of fires have been roaring through Northern Ontario over the past few days. In Northwestern Ontario four large forest fires have great influence to this territory. Two communities have been evacuated, and the fires are threaten other too.
A fire which is creeping ever closer from the west approaches the town of Beardmore. Although the strong winds are actually driving the blaze in to the northern direction, other timber fuel is leading the fire also in the direction of the community. A new established sprinkler system hopefully supports the fight against the fire.
Another big fire is threatening numerous camps southwest of Lake Nipigon. Due to strong winds and intense heat, it has been very difficult to work with waterbombers and firefighter crews at the fire front. Additional firefighting crews from Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories arrived Wednesday and were sent into action. Further crews are expected from Manitoba, the province, which also suffers lately from forest fires. For the Lake Nipigon area some rain is in the weather forecast for Thursday, which would help to control the fire situation. Thunderstorm in connection with lightning on the other side could intensify fire risk and could make the situation worse.
Fire fighting crews continue to control a large forest fire at Frazer Lake, north of Nipigon. This fire has consumed over 24,000 ha stretching north to Lake Nipigon.
One fire near Huntsville has been brought under control.
Because of very little snow or rain this past winter and spring, predictions for a forest fire summer are given.
The information flow to the GFMC was kindly supported by John Anderson, Calgary.