Fire ban to be lifted

The restricted fire zone that has blanketed the West Fire Region for more than a week will be lifted as of midnight Friday, the Ministry of Natural Resources fire headquarters in Dryden reported this morning.
“We did get some rain lately and while there are still some dry spots, there’s been some relief,” said Christine Rosche, MNR fire information officer.
“But our resources are stretched right now because of our project fires, and any man-caused fires would really cause difficulties,” she added.
“So we’re still pushing our preventative message. We want people to be cautious out there,” Rosche stressed.
The restricted fire zone went into effect at midnight on July 16 across most of Northern Ontario.
Gary Harland, fire operations supervisor at the MNR’s fire headquarters in Fort Frances, noted that while the ban will be lifted, crews remain on alert.
“There are some very, very dry areas here. We want people to use extreme caution with campfires,” he said.
Harland noted there currently are no active fires in the district. The most recent ones were four lightning-caused blazes—two west of Atikokan and two in Quetico Provincial Park—earlier this week.
These were extinguished with no problems.
In related news, four local FireRanger crews are expected to return here in the next few days after fighting fires in Nipigon and Red Lake.
Fort Frances District has seen a total of 32 fires since April 1, a number which Harland said was “below normal” due to the very wet spring.
Elsewhere in the West Fire Region, 55 fires continue to burn. Dryden currently has one while both Kenora and Red Lake each have 21. There are 10 active blazes in Sioux lookout while Thunder Bay has two.
There has been a total of 431 fires in the region since April 1, consuming 161,557 ha.