By the first week of August personnel and airtanker resources have returned home after a lengthy sojourn in Quebec. Meanwhile, Ontario continues to experience an extended period of escalated fire activity resulting in the mobilization of personnel and airtankers as well. Taken from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).
17 new fires reported in the West Fire Region by 17:00 on Monday
130 out of province personnel, as well as 4 heavy water bombers assisting with fire fighting efforts
Fires of note in Northwestern Ontario
Smoky conditions may affect areas in the Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Fort Frances and Dryden Districts
Forest fire hazard high to extreme
A total of 17 new fires were reported in the West Fire Region as of 17:00 Monday evening. Thunder storms tracked across Northwestern Ontario Monday afternoon bringing with them approximately 8500 lightning strike and minimal rainfall. Fire in the Kenora, Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay and Nipigon districts quickly ignited as a result of the fresh lightning. Quick action in response to these fires by FireRangers and water bombers allowed for most fires to be held to relatively small sizes. The fires that occurred are as follows; 5 in Thunder Bay, 6 in Nipigon, 2 in Kenora, 2 in Dryden, 1 in Sioux Lookout and 1 in Red Lake.
A total of 130 out of province forest fire fighting personnel are assisting with fire control efforts in the West Fire Region. The fire fighters are from bases in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Fire fighters from bases in the Yukon and North West Territories previously assisting in the West have been dispatched to the East Fire Region. 41 fire fighting personnel and a 20 member Incident Management Team from Alberta are scheduled to arrive in the West on Monday evening. Heavy water bombers and bird dog aircraft from Quebec and Manitoba are also assisting in Northwestern Ontario.
Thunder Bay fire # 57 erupted on the evening of August 5th and grew rapidly in size, despite the best efforts of FireRangers and waterbombers. The fire is projected at 4500 hectares. The fire is currently being actioned by air attack and ground crews. The Welch Provincial Fire Team is currently in place to oversee all operations involved with this fire.
The Gaudry Provincial Incident Command Team, based out of Armstrong have taken command and are directing suppression efforts on Thunder Bay fires # 61, # 65, and # 67 which are at 55, 45 and 450 ha respectively, and located in Wabakimi Park.
Sioux Lookout fire # 40 is located north of the community of Weagamow and currently projected at 100 hectares in size. Two FireRanger crews and four category 2 firefighting crews are working the fire, in order to limit fire spread and mitigate the effects of smoke in the community. Fire Fighters have established hoselines on the south and north end of the fire.
5 fires are currently being monitored by Fire Managers in side Quetico Park in the Fort Frances District. The fires are being managed in order to allow the fires to take their natural course in renewing the forest ecosystem. The fires area assessed daily and limited suppression action may be taken as required in order to prevent fire spread beyond predetermined boundaries.
All new fires are burning in remote locations and no communities are currently threatened. However, smoky conditions may affect areas around active fires, in the Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Fort Frances and Dryden Districts. Some communities and rural cottage areas may notice the smoky conditions. Contact your local Health Unit if concerned with smoke in your area.
The forest fire hazard remains high to extreme across all sections of Northwestern Ontario. High winds, high temperatures and low humidity will create the conditions for intense fire behaviour on Tuesday. Any new fires have the potential to grow rapidly in size and intensity, and the West Fire Region is anticipating several new fire starts. Fire fighters and water bombers are on high alert, ready to respond to new fire starts.
During this period of increased fire activity the Ministry of Natural Resources is asking for the publics help in preventing all human caused forest fires. Use extreme caution with all outdoor fires and consider postponing burning until conditions are safer. Use portable camp stoves instead of lighting a campfire.
There are no fire restrictions in the West Fire Region; however the East Fire Region has imposed a restricted fire zone that remains in effect for Wawa, Caramat, Hornepayne, Manitowadge, and White River. Information regarding the specific locations and areas affected by the restricted fire zone is available on our website at: http://affm.mnr.gov.on.ca/
For public forest fire information please contact the forest fire information hotline at: 1-888-258-8842
To report a forest fire in Northwestern Ontario, call 1-888-284-3473.
For more information please contact: Deb MacLean Fire Information Officer Fire Management Centre West Fire Region (807) 937-7241 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active and new fires in Ontario until 9 August 2005: