Three men fined for starting fires Also must pay MNR for putting them out

Three men have been fined a total of $1,100 after pleading guilty to starting fires in separate incidents.
They must also pay the Ministry of Natural Resources a total of $4,500—the cost of putting the fires out.
Members of the public reported all three fires to either the MNR fire management headquarters or the OPP after they saw smoke and flames.
Matthew Stewart, 35, of Winnipeg and Hartley Nason, 31, of Sioux Narrows each were fined $500 for starting a fire during the restricted fire zone.
They also must pay the MNR $1,625.96 and $1,457.45, respectively, for the cost of putting the fires out.
In the first case, court heard that on July 22, Stewart started a brush fire during the restricted fire zone about one-and-a-half metres from the deck of his cottage, which he failed to put out.
While he was gone, the fire continued to smoulder in the subsurface until it reached underneath the deck of his cottage.
The fire was put out by MNR aviation and forest fire management personnel on July 27.
In the second case, court heard that on July 22, Nason had a campfire on the southeast shore of Red Cliff Bay on Lake of the Woods during the restricted fire zone.
MNR aviation and forest fire management staff responded by helicopter while an MNR conservation officer from Kenora District and an OPP officer went to the site by boat.
By the time the officers arrived, Nason was gone. However, aerial photos taken from the helicopter provided evidence of Nason’s boat leaving the scene.
In the third case, Roger Smith, 56, of Oakbank, Man. was fined $100 for dumping hot ashes in a woodland, which caused a wildfire.
On June 23, he paid the MNR $1,416.93 for the cost of putting the fire out.
Court heard that Smith caused a fire by dumping hot ash near his cottage on an island on Dogtooth Lake on May 7. Although he poured water on the ash and raked it into the sphagnum moss, he failed to feel the ash for heat.
The fire smouldered in the subsurface, burning the roots of black and white spruce trees, causing them to fall and a wildfire to start.
On May 16, the Longbow Fire Brigade responded to the fire and protected the scene until MNR aviation and fire personnel completed the suppression of the fire the following day.
Justice of the Peace Joe Morrison heard the three cases Aug. 15 in Kenora.
The MNR reminds the public that open fires are not permitted during a restricted fire zone.
Campfires, as well as ashes and coals from heating appliances, must be completely extinguished to protect Ontario’s natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
To report a fire, call 1-888-284-3473.
Call toll-free 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) any time to report a natural resources violation or contact your local MNR office during regular business hours.
You also can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).