Dawson wildfire engulfs more than 500 hectares of grassland, swamp

A fire north of Rainy River that broke out in Dawson Municipality just north and west of HWY 600 at the Wilson Creek Rd on Monday, April 26, 2021 has blackened several hundred acres.

The fire was burning vigorously again Tuesday morning by 9 a.m.. Dawson Volunteer Fire Fighters reported the blaze which started about 3 p.m. Monday was battled until late into the evening with a mile of fire hose deployed. Volunteer crews, including Claude “Ziggy” Seguin were retrieving hose Tuesday morning and were expecting more crews including the MNR to attend the fire this morning.

The fire is called Fort Frances 3 by the MNRF. It’s burning at 575 hectares, and is considered not under control. Crews have been battling the blaze with ignitian and bucketing helicopters to contain the fire along Wilson Creek Road.

This area includes not only wild meadows and swamp, but a good deal of Peat bog. It has been burned by wildfires in the past and with dry conditions of the past year may be difficult or near impossible to extinguish without heavy amounts of precipitation. Peat bog fires can smoulder under- ground for years.

The area is bounded on all sides by roads so escape may not be immediate unless hot weather and winds come up. Protecting assets within the enclosed block seems to be the immediate concern