USA — Hallowe’en marked the official end of the 2013 forest fire season. It was a fire season that was relatively quiet compared to the spring of 2012 and summer of 2011, which saw record breaking fires in northwest region.
Although there were no fire-related evacuations, restricted fire zones or emergency area orders in northwestern Ontario this past fire season, the fire season is still closing with many memorable events such as Red Lake Fire 31. The fire was named the largest Ontario fire in 2013. This fire was in the Pikangikum Whitefeather Forest, which had just received a Sustainable Forest Licence. This fire was declared out on Sept. 8 and burned 18,556 hectares.
Provincially, operational spending for the 2013 fire season is estimated at approximately $112 million. This compares to approximately $172 million that was spent in 2012. The province of Ontario is investing 14 million dollars into the new Fire Management Headquarters in Sioux Lookout. This will replace the current building. This project is on schedule and expected to be in operation by April 2014.
The Northwest Region rounded out the season with a total of 357 fires, burning an area of 44,124.2 hectares. Compared to the 664 fires in 2012 that burnt a total of 97,711.7 hectares.