Six new fires start in region

With no end in sight to the dry conditions the region has been experiencing of late, the Ministry of Natural Resources reported six new fires in Northwestern Ontario in the past 24 hours.
Fire information officer Travis Moffatt said this morning that one of those fires was in Fort Frances District—a 0.2 ha. lightning-caused blaze burning near Kettle Falls—while two more were reported in Kenora District and three in Dryden District.
One of the Kenora fires and one in Dryden are now “out,” added Moffatt, noting most of the six fires were caused by lightning and small (.01 ha) in size.
The number of active fires in Fort Frances District is now 11, covering about 2,024 hectares. The district has seen 88 fires to date, consuming about 2,054 ha in total.
Fire information officer Rachel Hill said this morning that although the fire situation is relatively calm right now, the forecast shows only hot, dry weather in the week ahead and so activity could heat up very soon.
She added the district really needs several days of rain to help alleviate the drought-like conditions, noting that in some areas, the stress on deciduous trees (such as birch) is evident, with leaves already starting to change to fall colours.
The West Fire Region has a total of 56 active fires, burning about 16,294 ha. It has seen a total of 665 fires to date, having consumed some 18,001 ha.
The fire hazard remains “high” in the Fort Frances, Dryden, and Kenora districts but has dipped to “medium-high” in the Nipigon, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, and Thunder Bay Districts.
In related news, a Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect in the territorial districts of Fort Frances, Kenora, Dryden, and Thunder Bay, as well as through the southern portions of Nipigon, Sioux Lookout, and Red Lake districts.
The MNR had imposed the fire ban early last week because of minimal rain, continued lightning activity, drought-like conditions, and new forest fires being reported daily.
Likewise, the Emergency Area Order (EAO) implemented last weekend due to a large forest fire burning in Dryden District remains in effect.
Under it, access on, and use of, Winnange Lake, Teggau Lake, Rogers Lake, and the west arm of Eagle Lake is prohibited in order to ensure public safety and allow for effective fire suppression operations.
Exemptions, for access into the EAO area, may be authorized through a permit issued by Dryden District.
The EAO was put in place in order to ensure public safety and allow for effective fire suppression operations.
To report a wildfire in Northwestern Ontario, call 1-888-284-FIRE (3473).

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