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Boreal Community Media

Northwest Ontario Wildfire Update

Aug 19, 2018 08:49AM ● By Editor

By - August 19, 2018

THUNDER BAY – There were three new fires confirmed in the Northwest Region by the mid-afternoon of the Aug. 18.

At the time of this post, there were 64 active fires in the region. Five of those fires were not under control, three fires were being held, four fires were under control and 52 were under observation.

New fires, Aug. 18

  • Thunder Bay Fire 55 is located near Collins Lake, approximately 29 kilometres west of Armstrong. The 0.1 hectare fire is not under control.
  • Fort Frances Fire 58 is located near Manion Lake, approximately 53 kilometres northwest of Atikokan. The fire is not under control at 0.2 hectares.
  • Sioux Lookout Fire 121 is located on an island on Cat Lake, approximately 10 kilometres south of the community of remote First Nation community of Cat Lake. The one hectare fire is not under control.

Fire hazard in the Northwest Region
The fire hazard is currently extreme throughout the Kenora District and in portions of the Red Lake, Fort Frances, Dryden and Sioux Lookout Districts. High hazard conditions prevail throughout the rest of the region with the exception of a pocket of moderate hazard on the North Shore of Lake Superior in the Nipigon District.

Smoke Drift

Smoke from large fires in Western Canada and the United States continues to drift east and will affect areas throughout Ontario for today. Communities in close proximity to some of the larger monitored fires in the Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, and Thunder Bay Districts may experience smoke drift from these fires. Concentration levels could be high at times, but not expected to persist for a long duration. For information about the impacts smoke on your health please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Ontario Parks restricts access in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park
Several large fires in Woodland Caribou Park have necessitated some restrictions for backcountry travelers. Ontario Parks is restricting access to some canoe routes as well as access to a number of lakes. You can find more details here.

Restricted Fire Zone

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for portions of the Northwest Region until further notice.

This order is required to reduce the possibility of unwanted human-caused fires. Resources are presently adequate though the potential for problematic fires exists.

Included in the Restricted Fire Zone are:

  • Kenora District
  • Fort Frances District
  • Dryden District
  • Portions of the Thunder Bay, Red Lake and Sioux Lookout Districts.

Not included in the Restricted Fire Zone are:

  • City of Thunder Bay

The organized municipalities of:

  • Neebing,
  • Gillies,
  • O’Connor
  • Oliver/Paipoonge,
  • Shuniah
  • Dorion

The unincorporated areas of:

  • Pass Lake
  • Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Residents outside the Restricted Fire Zone are urged to check with their municipal fire department for local burning restrictions.

The use of open fires, such as campfires or burning of debris is not permitted. Portable gas and propane are allowed but must be safely managed.

Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to have a campfire during a Restricted Fire Zone provided certain conditions are met.

Failure to comply with a Restricted Fire Zone could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as the financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire caused by the illegal act. To see a complete list of fires across the province and well as the details of Restricted Fire Zone boundaries click on our interactive map. You can also get the latest update on the condition of any fire by clicking the fire icon.

Fire numbers and online information:

  • Forest Fire Reporting Number –  310-FIRE (3473)

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