Four new fires reported

Four new forest fires were reported in the West Fire Region yesterday, including two in Fort Frances District.
Fort Frances Fires #159 and #160 were both small, lightning-caused blazes which broke out late in the day in the northeast corner of Quetico Provincial Park.
MNR FireRangers, along with a Twin Otter waterbomber, attacked the two fires. Few problems are expected with them.
Elsewhere, Nipigon Fire #217 was reported on the Black Bay peninsula 65 km northeast of Thunder Bay.
The 0.1-ha blaze, also caused by a lightning strike, will be monitored by the MNR on a regular basis. But it will not be suppressed because it is burning in an area outside the fire protection zone.
Meanwhile, Sioux Lookout Fire #190 was reported as a 0.1-ha blaze burning alongside Highway 599 about 46 km north of Savant Lake.
One FireRanger crew was dispatched to the fire, which should be “out” by the end of the day.
In related news, fire hazard has risen across most of the region, reaching “high-extreme” in the Fort Frances, Dryden, and Red Lake districts, and “extreme” in Kenora District.
“The ‘high-extreme’ fire hazard is a combination of dry, warm air being pushed across the region by strong winds, and the fuels, such as brush and grass, are very dry,” MNR fire information officer Mitch Miller said this morning.
Although current conditions are dangerous, the number of new fires has not been as high as it could be.
“What’s unusual is that we’re dealing with lightning strikes that are up to three weeks old,” noted Miller.
“The situation could be worse though,” he added. “We haven’t been seeing a lot of sparks [from recent lightning], and campers have been very careful.”
Overall, the region has had 1,170 fires to date, including 17 still listed as “active,” burning 104,016.9 ha altogether.