Blaze forces Ring of Fire mine camp evacuation

Blaze forces Ring of Fire mine camp evacuation

29 May 2013

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Canada — Ministry of Natural Resources firefighters are battling a forest fire about 60 km south of Webequie First Nation.

The blaze forced 21 employees out of a mining camp in the Ring of Fire mineral zone yesterday.

A fire information officer with the MNR said firefighters are working to protect the remote camp.

“It’s very close … [we’re] working closely with the mining industry in the area,” Heather Pridham said.

“We’ll have sprinklers set up on all the values in the area, as well as an assessment to identify what are the highest priorities in the area.”

There are other mining camps in the area, but they are not extremely close.

Pridham said an aerial attack is being used to fight the fire, which is not under control.

“The fire itself is approximately 400 hectares and we are expecting that fire to grow today under the current burning conditions,” Pridham said.

She said visiblity for aircraft is an issue, due to smoke from the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The ministry says the fire hazard is high to extreme in the Dryden, Thunder Bay, and Nipigon areas, including the Far North (Weagamow First Nation, Summer Beaver and Webequie).

Most areas north of Armstrong and Ogoki/Nakina are also in the high to extreme fire hazard zone.

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