Crews battling fire north of Emo

FORT FRANCES—Four FireRanger crews were establishing hose lines Friday morning in an effort to suppress a forest fire that ignited Thursday in the Preacher Lake area, just west of Burditt Lake (about 30 km north of Emo), the Ministry of Natural Resources reported.
The 26-hectare blaze, which was reported around 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, was caused by lightning, the MNR noted.
The fire was attacked Thursday by waterbombers from Dryden and Kenora, as well as MNR ground crews. Manitoba also provided support with a quick strike air attack from Gimli.
MNR fire management supervisor Harrold Boven said Friday morning that residents who left the area Thursday afternoon are now back in their homes, adding no values (i.e., structures or equipment) were lost.
The fire was one of 43 ignited by lightning associated with a storm system that moved through the region Thursday afternoon, including 17 in Fort Frances District (the majority of which occurred in the Atikokan area).
All firefighting resources in the region were responding to the blazes with initial attack from both the air and the ground.
In related news, a Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect across Northwestern Ontario until further notice.
The weather forecast is calling for cooler weather over the next few days, but the MNR says the drop in temperature will not bring relief to the forest fire situation as a persistent drought continues to plague the area.
As such, conditions in the forest are very receptive to any kind of ignition—whether lightning-caused or from human activity.
With this recent flurry of multiple lightning fires stretching firefighting resources to the limit, it becomes even more critical that people adhere to the fire ban and make every effort to prevent human-caused blazes.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)