Fire ban lifted

The Restricted Fire Zone, which had been in effect across the entire Northwest Region since Sept. 6, was lifted effective at 7 a.m. today.
Fire managers feel confident the cool, wet weather being experienced throughout the region allows them to lift the ban without fear of numerous new fire starts.
Still, recreationists are urged to exercise caution with any open fire.
Limited numbers of fire crews and aircraft currently have their hands full managing the several hundred fires still burning, and having to respond to unnecessary human-caused fires would strain already limited fire management capability.
In concert with the lifting of the RFZ, district resource managers are opting to re-open access to some roads that had been closed this past week in the Thunder Bay and Nipigon districts.
Effective at midnight yesterday, access is open in Thunder Bay District on all roads that had been closed, except the Mawn Lake Road, Camp 45 Road, the Kab River Road east of Highway 527, and the Black Sturgeon Road.
In Nipigon District, restricted access has been lifted on all previously-closed roads, except the Black Sturgeon Road, Highway 585 (Cameron Falls Road), the Frazer Lake Road from the junction of the Cameron Falls Road, and the Deadhorse Road at the junction of Highway 17.
Meanwhile, more favourable flying conditions have allowed hundreds of evacuees to be flown home yesterday from the Greenstone receiving centre to the First Nations communities of Deer Lake, Sandy Lake, North Spirit Lake, and Keewaywin.
Additional flights were expected to resume today for roughly 260 residents who still are at Greenstone.
Residents from Aroland First Nation who sought shelter at Cochrane have returned home by bus while the 60 residents of Ginoogaming will be bused home today from Kapuskasing.
Residents from Gull Bay and Long Lac #58 remain at receiving centres in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, and Kapuskasing.
Favourable weather has allowed fire crews to make some additional gains protecting values, extending control lines around fire boundaries, and declaring a dozen fires out.
Crews had to work without benefit of waterbomber or helicopter support as air operations have been grounded since Saturday because of poor flying conditions due to limited visibility attributable to fog, rain, and smoke.
Fire managers also warn that longer-term projections call for a gradual return to drier weather, and that existing fires have the potential for an increase in fire behaviour, resulting in new fire spread and growth.
People venturing into the bush are urged to stay away from fire areas, particularly where ground crews and aircraft are working.
Private and commercial pilots also are asked to exercise caution in all areas where low-flying waterbombers and helicopters are working.
All pilots are asked to check for NOTAMS, and should consider broadcasting their presence on both 126.7 and 122.8.

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