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Wet weather in northwestern Ontario helps limit new fire starts

Aug 07, 2018 11:20AM ● By Editor

An air tanker drops a load of water on the Nipigion Fire 15 located on the north shore of Lake Superior. (Jonathan Scott / MNRF)

From CBC News · August 7, 2018

Recent wet weather in northwestern Ontario has helped limit new fire starts, for now.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the wet weather over 48 hours on the August long weekend allowed FireRanger crews to continue to chip away at the Northwest Region's active fire load while starts were kept to a minimum.

Although the ministry said there were 13 new fire starts on the weekend and another four fires were reported in the region as of Monday night, with two in Red Lake and two in Sioux Lookout.But the MNRF warns there are high drought code values in the region, which is a measure of moisture levels deep in the soil, and that could lead to more lightning starts as the fire hazard rebounds and fuels on the surface become more receptive to burning.

Thunderstorms over the past five days have resulted in over 32,000 lightning strikes province wide.

As of Aug. 6 there were 78 active fires with 65 of them either under observation or being held.

The fire hazard is listed as moderate in the Fort Frances and portions of the Dryden Fire District, while the Kenora, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay and Nipigon districts are under a low hazard.

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