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Fire hazard extends to Red Lake, Sioux Lookout district after heat wave

Aug 14, 2018 11:25AM ● By Editor
A CL-45 Airtanker drops water near a Dryden, Ont. (Chris Marchand / MNRF)

From CBC News · August 13, 2018 

The recent heat wave and lack of precipitation in northwestern Ontario has elevated the fire hazard in regions like Kenora, Dryden and Fort Frances, according to the ministry's fire information officer.

"As the heat continues, these extreme hazards are extending more into the Red Lake and Sioux Lookout district," fire information officer, Chris Marchand told CBC News.

He said as of Monday morning there were 11 new fires reported, which brings the total burning in the region to 80.

"Seven of those are not under control, four of them are being held, seven are under control and 62 of those fires are being observed," Marchand said.

Luckily, rainfall over the last 24 hours in the northern areas of the region has helped reduce the fire hazard to low, Marchand added, with places like Big Trout Lake receiving about 60 mm of rain this weekend.

He said although fire crews were anticipating some hold-over lightning fires, lightning over the weekend was "mostly confined to the far north where there has been significant precipitation."

"We've been very lucky in the last couple days to not have the lightning in these places where we're seeing extreme hazard and high drought code value — which is a lack of moisture deep down in the soil that really helps those lightning strikes emerge as fires later on," Marchand explained.

He said the hot weather, coupled with a cold front coming from the north, is expected to bring more thunderstorms to the area this upcoming week.

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