Late last night (Friday), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services provided the following update on the forest fire situation:
By the evening of July 20, there were 65 active forest fires across the Northeast, of these, 34 are not yet under control, 31 are either being held, under control or being observed.
There were eight new starts in the region today.
Lady Evelyn Fire Cluster:
North Bay 72 is the largest fire in the region, and has spread outside the boundaries of Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park.
Heavy helicopters continued to bucket water onto North Bay 72, coordinating with crews on the ground.
Fire behaviour was active today with high temperatures, low relative humidity and gusty winds.
Crews continue to establish hose line along the east and north perimeter of the fire. The majority of the burn was inside the perimeter of the fire.
Moderate growth on the southwest and northeast edge was experienced.
Heavy smoke made it difficult to effectively remap this fire and determine how much growth had been experienced.
Once visibility improves, the fire will be remapped and the size will be updated on the interactive fire map.
Sprinklers have been running on values on Mendelssohn Lake and Skull Lake for the past two days. Values will be checked Saturday morning along the lakes and the Montreal River.
Ash and smoke pushed north and east of the fire today. Distances of 30 kilometres are not unusual for ash and smoke to travel.
A new lightning fire started last evening on the southeast side of Barter Lake, North Bay 113. Initial attack was carried out this morning.
Temagami Fire Cluster:
Due to the hot and dry weather there was some activity on fires in the north of the Temagami cluster, sending a large amount of smoke into the air.
Crews continue to patrol and mop up: North Bay 55, 56, 68 and 69.
Firefighters also continue to monitor: North Bay 18, 19, 46, 47, 61 and action priority areas with helicopter bucketing.
Value protection systems remain on North Bay 68, 55, and 56, and have been removed from North Bay 69.
Firefighters were also able to call North Bay 112 as OUT.
River Valley Fire Cluster:
There are 125 people working on the two fires in this cluster, with more fire fighters from Mexico expected in the coming days.
Strong and gusty southerly winds contributed to increased fire activity along the east flank of North Bay 42, which is still not under control. Crews worked to strengthen the line on the south end and the northeast portions of the fire today.
North Bay 62, which is still not under control, did not experience significant growth today and is not expected to grow tomorrow.
The east flank of the fire was quite active and the gusty winds pushed the fire back onto itself in this area. Crews worked to strengthen the line on the south and west sides of the fire, as well as on hotspots on the north side.