Forest fire keeps crews busy

A wildfire that broke out around 5 p.m. Sunday in the Dryden District may continue to challenge Ministry of Natural Resources firefighters for the next few days.
Dryden Fire #18, burning near Upper Scotch Lake, about 17 km west of English River, grew to 35 hectares and threatened nearby structures.
The first FireRanger crews to respond to the blaze set up sprinkler systems to protect private property, said MNR fire information officer Andrew Larmand.
Four heavy waterbombers and a Twin Otter aircraft provided an aerial attack, giving back-up for 25 FireRangers battling the blaze on the ground.
At times, the blaze was “crowning,” or burning through the treetops, noted Larmand, adding this fire behaviour is most difficult to control and shows the high forest fire danger that exists throughout the southern half of the West Fire Region.
Fire #18 was the same number given to one of Dryden District’s largest fires–a 1974 blaze southwest of Eagle Lake which burned more than 35,000 ha.
Also Saturday in Dryden, FireRangers responded to a campfire left burning along the north end of Sturgeon Lake and also located a lightning fire reported on an island on Meglund Lake.
They also took action on a fire near Oxdrift that likely was the result of residential burning. An MNR conservation officer is investigating that fire.
More fires were reported elsewhere in the region over the weekend, including four here. Fort Frances Fire #22, a small lightning-caused blaze, was reported and put “out” in Quetico Park on Friday.
Fire #23 started on an island 35 km east of Nestor Falls on Saturday.
Two more blazes were reported yesterday–one south of English River and a recreational fire in Quetico Park. Both were expected to “out” by the end of today.
And Nipigon Fire #64 was reported near Black Sturgeon Lake and manned by a member of the public.
Larmand noted that under current conditions, any fire easily can turn into a wildfire. People are reminded to use caution with fire while in the outdoors.
No rainfall is expected for the next few days and the fire hazard, particularly in Fort Frances District, is expected to rise from “high” to “extreme.”
Since April, there have been 25 fires, consuming 55.5 ha, in Fort Frances District. The West Fire Region has seen a total of 251 blazes to date, burning 1,976 ha.