Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

New fires increase smokey conditions in Thunder Bay as fire crews control Kenora Fire 71

Aug 15, 2018 06:00AM ● By Editor
A remote fishing outpost cabin on Trapline Lake was spared from the flames of Kenora Fire 71 as fire crews used sprinkler units to protect a variety of structures on the property. (Chris Marchand / MNRF Fire Information)

By Christina Jung of CBC News · August 14, 2018

Smoke drifting from the wild fires in western Canada is continuing to affect the visibility across northwestern Ontario this week, but that's not the only fire that's contributing to the smokey conditions, according to the ministry's fire information officer.

Chris Marchand said a smoke drift model on Tuesday morning indicated that a lot of the haziness in Thunder Bay is due to the fire near Wabakimi Lake, which is currently being observed.

"About 250 to 350 kilometres to the north and northwest of Thunder Bay, there's three fires that range in size from 30 to 200 hectares that may be contributing to local smoke conditions," fire information officer, Chris Marchand said.A total of seven new fires were reported as of Tuesday morning, which brings the total number of active fires in the region to 73.He added that 12 fires have been extinguished on Monday.

"54 [fires] are being observed, eight are under control, six are being held and five are not under control," Marchand said, and "a lot of the new starts that we're seeing have been extinguished just as fast."

Kenora Fire 71 status change
Kenora Fire 71 measured at approximately 10,200 hectares is now under control, Marchand said.

About 18 fire crews and nine helicopters have been on site determining some of the hot spots in that fire as "spots are continuing to burn deep into the ground and taking longer than normal to extinguish properly."

On Tuesday, Marchand said the status of Kenora Fire 71 has changed from being held to being under control which means "it has received enough suppression action to ensure no further spread."

Vigilant response

Some rainfall and a cold front is expected to reach most parts of northwestern Ontario by Wednesday and Thursday, Marchand said, however, the ministry is not expecting too much rainfall in the southern portions of the region like Kenora, Sioux Lookout and Fort Frances.

"The southwest portion of the northwest region is seeing some extreme fire hazard conditions, so we're going to be very vigilant in terms of our response to anything that happens in that sector," he said, "so any new starts will be responded to pretty quickly in those areas."