(A group of fire crews assigned to the Lady Evelyn Cluster pictured here at the Earlton Airport, by Lynn Daina)

Forest fire update

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry updated the fire situation late last night (Thursday):

By the evening of July 26 there were 45 active forest fires across the northeast. Of these, 15 are not yet under control, 30 are either being held, under control or being observed.

There were no new fires confirmed in the region today.

Lady Evelyn Fire Cluster:

North Bay 72 remains at 27,579 hectares and is listed as not under control. However, the overcast skies and wet weather of late has allowed firefighters to consolidate hose lines along the perimeter. While there is much work still to be done, progress is being made daily.

Front line staff continue to work with heavy equipment operators to establish dozer guards in areas where this type of suppression is suitable. This goes a long way to secure the perimeter of the fire.

The Incident Management Team continues to observe North Bay 18, 19, 46, 59 and 61. While these fires have been quiet, they are not considered out. 

Currently there are 10 helicopters assigned to this cluster.

Transitioning of staff is ongoing as personnel depart for their home locations and new staff arrive. Crews arrived from northwestern Ontario today and more are expected from Saskatchewan tomorrow.

We continue to have firefighters from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories and Mexico work on this cluster.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Travel restrictions are in place for parts of North Bay, Kirkland Lake, Sudbury, Pembroke and Parry Sound districts due to forest fires. For details, visit Ontario.ca/forestfire.

RESTRICTED FIRE ZONES

Restricted fire zone expanded to additional parts of the Northeast fire region (southern region)

Due to the extreme fire hazard, several recent periods of heavy lightning, little precipitation and increased forest fire activity, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has expanded the Restricted Fire Zone to include parts of the Southern Region of Ontario as outlined on the interactive map.  This expansion of the current Restricted Fire Zone will be in effect as of 12:01 AM on July 24, and will remain in place until further notice.  

  • The expanded Restricted Fire Zone now includes Zones 24, 25, & 26 which would include areas south of the French River, including Parry Sound, from Georgian Bay east to the Quebec border, including Algonquin Provincial Park and from Renfrew north to Mattawa.
  • To date, the current MNRF Restricted Fire Zone covers Zones 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, & 26 and restrictions will remain in place until further notice.  See the fire map for an outline of the zones covered.
  • 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 OMNRF expects the elevated forest fire hazard to continue into the foreseeable future.

Smoke Concerns

  • Many Ontario residents have reported smoke drift in their communities. Smoky conditions are expected to continue as a number of fires remain active throughout the northeast region until weather patterns and fire activity change.
  • AFFES is reminding the public that if they do see flames or smoke, please report it, and stay away from the area in the interest of public safety.
  • If you have questions or concerns about smoke and your health, please contact Tele Health Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Fire numbers and online information:

  • To report a forest fire located north of the French and Mattawa rivers, please dial 310-FIRE (3473)
  • To report a forest fire located south of the French or Mattawa rivers, please dial 911.
  • Follow us on Twitter: in English @ONForestFires or in French @ONFeuDeForêt
  • For up to date information on current fires in the province or to check the forest fire hazard in your area, visit Ontario.ca/forestfire

Forest fire update was last modified: July 27th, 2018 by Editorial Staff

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