Fire grows at brisk clip

Fire grows at brisk clip

23June 2005


Whipped by strong gusts and fuelled by dead tree branches left from a winterstorm, the first big forest fire of the season to stump Northwestern Ontariofire bosses nearly tripled in size Wednesday.

Nipigon 20, pegged at 100 square kilometres as of Wednesday night, remained toohot for ground crews to mount an attack for the second straight day.

Firefighting efforts were restricted to staging back-burn operations and settingup sprinklers on harvesting areas expected to be within close range of the blaze.

“This is a very large fire,” said Ministry of Natural Resources informationofficer Travis Moffatt.

The southern tip of the blaze is about 40 km northeast of the top of LakeNipigon. No communities were threatened Wednesday.

However, the ministry issued an emergency area order for Nipigon 20, restrictingtravel on the Ogoki Road logging route north of the Abamasagi Lake Road junction.

Moffatt said the road is normally only used by logging trucks and seasonaltourists. Until further notice, only those with special permits will be allowedto travel on the route.

As hot as Nipigon 20 was Wednesday, the fire remained in the Marshal Lake areaand a good 100 km west of communities within the sprawling Municipality ofGreenstone. None had been put on alert.

Fire managers are counting on cooler and wetter weather in the forecast for thenext few days to help them combat the fire.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of Neebing imposed an all-out fire ban Wednesday dueto dry conditions, making it illegal to burn bush or have camp fires.

MNR fire operations spokeswoman Deb MacLean said the ministry is not yetcontemplating a ban that would prevent fires in provincial parks and on Crownland.


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