More rain needed in some areas: MNR

Despite the recent rain, the potential for the rapid return of the fire hazard remains, the Ministry of Natural Resources warned this morning.
“The prognosis for the next few days is that we may pick up some lightning fires, but given that we have had some recent rain, it may give us temporary reprieve,” said MNR fire information officer Deb MacLean.
However, she added while areas north of the Highway 17 corridor have received significant amounts of precipitation over the last three days, southern areas of the region, including Fort Frances districts, have not received enough rain to offset the underlying effects of the prolonged dry period.
“Most of the region is in good shape, as far as having normal precip, but we’re still dealing with the long-term drying trend,” noted MacLean.
This means these areas will see a rapid recovery in the forest fire hazard when sunny, dry weather does return to Northwestern Ontario.
Three new fires were reported in the last 24 hours, including two lightning-caused blazes in Thunder Bay District. However, MacLean noted, these were single tree fires, which firefighters should have no problem dealing with.
The third fire was reported yesterday afternoon in Dryden District, making for that area’s 15th fire so far this season.
FireRangers, meanwhile, are continuing to work at extinguishing “hot spots” on four ongoing fires in the region (two in Thunder Bay District, one in Sioux Lookout District, and one in Nipigon District).
Other crews are busy readying equipment and completing proficiency training exercises.
Firefighters also have been providing assistance in assessing road conditions, as well as looking for road washouts and stranded travellers in remote areas of the region following very heavy rains.
There’s currently a total of seven fires in the region, burning nearly 30,558 hectares. Since April 1, there’s been a total of 170 blazes, consuming 30,955 ha.