Elevated forest fire hazard expected to continue


DISTRICT (Special) — The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) reported Sunday evening, August 5, that there were 42 active forest fires across the northeast. Of these, 19 are not yet under control, 23 are either being held, under control or being observed.

There were two new fires confirmed Sunday, August 5. Bancroft 19 covers 0.5 of a hectare. It is located approximately five kilometres southeast of Big Burnt Lake, and 14 kilometres east of Highway 46.

Sudbury 101 measures 0.9 of a hectare and is located approximately 16 kilometres southwest of St-Charles.

Incident Management Teams are in place in the region. They are managing priority fires in the following areas: Lady Evelyn Cluster, Parry Sound 33, and Pembroke Cluster.

The Lady Evelyn Fire Cluster was first recorded on July 8. It measures 27,285 hectares and is not under control. More precipitation fell Sunday evening over the fire. Lightning was also recorded in the area.

All heavy equipment assigned to the fire has been released. Values protection equipment remains in place. Travel restrictions around this fire remain in place. Helicopter buckets will be available and utilized as needed. Forest firefighter crews continue to transition on and off the fire.

Ontario is receiving support from across Canada, the United States and Mexico to assist with the fire situation. A total of 556 firefighters and support staff are currently in the province. Alberta is providing personnel, equipment and aircraft. British Columbia is providing equipment. Newfoundland is providing personnel and equipment. Northwest Territories is providing personnel, equipment and aircraft. Nova Scotia is providing equipment. Prince Edward Island is providing personnel. New Brunswick is providing personnel. Saskatchewan is providing personnel and equipment. Quebec is providing personnel and aircraft. Minnesota, USA, is providing personnel. Wisconsin, USA, is providing personnel. Mexico is providing personnel. Parks Canada is providing personnel. Additional personnel and equipment are expected to arrive in the province in the coming days.

Due to the extreme fire hazard, several recent periods of heavy lightning, little precipitation and increased forest fire activity, the MNRF has expanded the Restricted Fire Zone to include parts of the Southern Region of Ontario. This expansion of the current Restricted Fire Zone will remain in place until further notice. During a Restricted Fire Zone, the use of open fires – such as campfires, or burning of brush or debris is restricted. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire. Portable gas or propane stoves are permitted for use for cooking or warmth, though they should be closely monitored. Portable charcoal BBQs and Hibachis are not permitted unless within 100 metres of a dwelling, or within an organized campground.

Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to enjoy campfires during a Restricted Fire Zone period provided they meet certain conditions in the Outdoor Fires Regulation (207/96). The Restricted Fire Zone is a temporary measure to reduce the number of new human-caused wildfires as the Aviation Forest Fire and Emergency Services branch of the MNRF expects the elevated forest fire hazard to continue into the foreseeable future.

Elevated forest fire hazard expected to continue was last modified: August 6th, 2018 by Editorial Staff