Fire season far busier this year


With the forest fire season officially ending today (Oct. 31), the numbers show this one has been much busier than recent years.
Since April 1, there’s been a total of 908 fires to date in the West Fire Region, having burned 629,391.4 hectares in all.
By comparison, the 2010 fire season saw just 371 blaze, which charred 9,616.2 ha.
There were 194 fires by the end of the fire season in 2009, with 13,934 ha burned.
Fort Frances District has seen a total of 58 fires to date, having burned 288.2 ha (the majority of this hectarage—217.7—continues to burn in Quetico Park, where four fires are “being observed” to benefit the ecological integrity and health of the area).
By contrast, there was a total of 46 fires in Fort Frances District last year, consuming 462.1 ha.
The fire hazard currently remains “low” across the region, with no new fires reported over the weekend.
There currently are 15 active fires in the West Fire Region, including four here in Fort Frances District, all of which are being monitored in Quetico Park.
The balance of active fires includes four in Red Lake District, two in Sioux Lookout District, two in Thunder Bay District, and three in Nipigon District.
With the fires season officially over tomorrow, a fire permit no longer is required for daytime burning of woody debris or grass if you live in an area governed by the Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario.
But while day burning is allowed after the fire season ends, people still must follow safe outdoor fire management.
Those living within an organized municipality or First Nations’ community may have to follow more stringent open burning bylaws.
Before burning, residents should check with their local fire officials for bylaws.