Fire ban imposed in places

The Ministry of Natural Resources has imposed a Restricted Fire Zone in portions of Northwestern Ontario because of the growing threat of wildfires stemming from the recent hot, dry weather.
Effective at midnight last night, and until further notice, all open burning, including campfires, is banned in areas including Thunder Bay, Armstrong, Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake, Nakina, Geraldton, Nipigon, Beardmore, and Marathon, the MNR reported this morning.
These restrictions apply to the MNR districts of Thunder Bay, the northwestern corner of Dryden District, and Nipigon and Sioux Lookout Districts north to the 11th baseline.
It also includes the existing RFZ in place in Wawa District.
Campfires may be allowed at the discretion of the owners or operators of organized campgrounds—private or in provincial parks—that use approved fire pits and meet certain other criteria.
Campers are encouraged to check with the owners or operators of organized campgrounds to verify whether or not a campfire will be permitted and under what conditions.
These campgrounds may impose their own restrictions, which supersede criteria imposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, depending on the burning conditions.
Within the RFZ area, people still can use portable gas stoves for cooking and warmth.
Ministry fire staff and conservation officers will strictly enforce the ban on open burning.
Meanwhile, the fire situation is heating up in the West Fire Region as 15 new fires were reported as of last night.
Fort Frances District saw one new blaze located at Moose Bay Lake, east of Quetico Provincial Park, but this was “out” as of this morning.
Nipigon, Sioux Lookout, and Thunder Bay districts each saw four new fires. Two new fires also were reported in Red Lake District.
Firefighter efforts are proving successful, with many reports of fires being contained and prevented from spreading, the MNR said.
Aerial detection patrols are flying the region continuously to spot new fires while they are small. But firefighting resources are stretched as firefighters, aircraft, and equipment respond to the multiple fire starts.
There currently are 61 active fires in West Fire District, including six in Fort Frances District covering 668 ha. These all are located in Quetico Provincial Park.