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Video: Hold-over lightning strikes emerge as fires in northwestern Ontario, says MNRF

Aug 21, 2018 05:09PM ● By Editor
A northwest region CL-415 Airtanker in action near Dryden, Ont. (Chris Marchand / MNRF)

By Christina Jung · CBC News · August 21, 2018

Despite the recent rainy weather in some parts of northwestern Ontario on Monday, the fire hazard in regions like Kenora, Dyden and Fort Frances still remain high to extreme, according to the ministry's fire information officer Chris Marchand.

"Yesterday's new fire count crept back up into the teens with 16 new fires," Marchand said, "so that indicates that some of these hold-over lightning strikes that we've seen over the past five days are starting to emerge as fires."

There's currently 62 active fires in the region, with seven of those not under control, and 47 under observation, Marchand added.

He said Monday's rainfall has helped decrease the fire hazard to moderate with pockets of low hazard in the Thunder Bay district and along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

However, he said regions like Kenora, Dryden and Fort Frances are still under high to extreme fire hazards with a restricted fire zone still in place as precipitation levels have remained low in that area.

Large fires in region under control or being observed

Thunder Bay Fire 52 located in Wabikimi Lake has been "remapped at 1,856 hectares," Marchand said with on-going value protection and monitoring in progress as crews have been laying sprinklers around several outpost cabins in the area.

Two fires close to Wabikimi Lake, located just west of the park's boundary, are also being held with air attacks and suppression efforts.

Crews have declared Kenora Fire 71 as being under control last week, Marchand said and it "is in a process of demobilisation," as fire crews have been working their way in from the edges of the fire.

A video by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry shows air attack operations on Red Lake Fire 170, approximately 53 kilometres west of the remote community of Poplar Hill.

While the fire in Woodland Caribou Park is currently being observed, Marchand added that another fire nearby is currently receiving air attacks as it is deemed not under control.

"Some of them are starting to burn into each other, creating just one large burn area," Marchand said, "but north of Cariboo Park is Red Lake Fire 170 and it's ...receiving a bit more of a suppression response than most of the fires in the region."

He said Red Lake Fire 170 sparked up on August 16 and is measured at over 700 hectares in size.

For more on the Northwestern Ontario fires, ollow this link to the CBC Thunder Bay website.

Video: Air Attack Operations on Red Lake Fire 170