Fire hazard likely to rise Local crews heading east

Thunderstorms followed by hot, dry weather are expected to push fire hazards higher this weekend, the Ministry of Natural Resources reported Friday morning.
“There may not be a lot of rain from those thunderstorms. And we expect the fire hazard to bounce back quickly, if it goes down at all,” said MNR fire information officer Deb MacLean.
“Follow that up with hot, dry weather and any kind of wind, and the potential for fires is there,” she added. “For the first time this summer, people really have to be very vigilant with their fires—whether they’re campfires or shore lunch fires.”
MacLean noted there are alternatives to having an open fire, such as portable stoves.
She stressed the MNR expects some lightning-caused fires to result from the thunderstorm activity, and will be stretching its firefighting resources if MNR crews have to respond to both lightning-caused and human-caused fires at the same time.
“We’re appealing to the public to safely manage their fires. People can do their part and help us out,” said MacLean.
Fire crews, aircraft, and equipment are on alert in anticipation of this increased fire hazard, she added.
Meanwhile, a transition of personnel is going on with Nipigon Fire #20 as a management team, support personnel, and firefighters who have been working on the blaze for a couple of weeks now are being relieved by new personnel.
The Bob Johnson Type 1 Incident Management Team has returned home and so the Harrold Boven Type 2 Incident Management Team, consisting of Boven, three technicians, and one four-person FireRanger crew from Fort Frances, is in charge of the fire, operating out of the base camp at the Ogoki Forward Attack Base, north of Geraldton.
Nipigon Fire #20 is classed as “under control” at 13,623.0 hectares in size.
Nipigon District has seen a total of 30 fires since the MNR fire season officially began April 1, consuming a total of 13,661 ha.
Meanwhile, the MNR has dispatched 10 FireRanger crews from the West Fire Region, including four from Fort Frances, to assist the East Fire Region with a multiple-fire situation under “high” to “extreme” forest fire hazards.
These crews are expected to help out in Wawa, Timmins, and Chapleau.
That region has seen a total of 108 fires since the fire season began, burning a total of 13,728.4 ha.
Fort Frances District has seen six fires to date, destroying 8.7 ha, while there have been 15 fires in Dryden District, consuming 18.7 ha.
Red Lake District has had only two fires so far (0.6 ha), with Sioux Lookout District having lost nine ha due to 19 fires.
Kenora District has seen 15 fires, consuming a total of seven ha. And Thunder Bay District has had a total of 21 fires, consuming 23.4 ha.
To report a forest fire in Northwestern Ontario, call 1-888-284-3473.