Two new forest fires reported in region

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

As warmer weather envelops the region, forest fires become more and more likely, and the season is already underway.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry announced there have been two new forest fires reported in the northwest fire region as of 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.

The first of the two fires, Fort Frances 3, is currently 0.1 hectares in size and not under control at the time of the update. That fire is located west of Rainy Lake.

The second fire is Kenora 15 and is also 0.1 hecatre and not under control. The Minsitry notes that fire is located north of Dryberry Lake and east of Highway 71.

There is currently one fire of note in the region. Sioux Lookout 7 is currently burning 6,5000 hectares of land and is not considered under control. The ministry currently has ten FireRanger crews, five helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft on assigned to fighting the fire, which is located north of the community of Cat Lake.

According to the Ministry, there are also two forest fires currently burning near Dryden, with Dryden 5 currently being held at 8.9 hectares, and Dryden 3 under control at 1.8 hectares.

Almost the entire northwest region is currently under high or extreme forest fire danger ratings, save for the far north and the corner of the region found between Rainy River, Barwick and Big Grassy First Nation. the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services are reminding the public to use caution when performing any outdoor burning, and to use methods like composting or local landfills to dispose of yard waste and woody debris.

“Fires are to be ignited no sooner than two hours before sunset and extinguished no later than two hours after sunrise,” the ministry says.

“Always have tools/water adequate to contain the fire at the site. Know the rules for safe outdoor burning. Consult the full set of Outdoor Burning Regulations.”

To report a forest fire north of the French and Mattawa Rivers, call 310-FIRE (310-3473). To report a forest fire located south of the French and Mattawa Rivers, call 911.