For the fifth day in a row, no new forest fires were reported in Northwestern Ontario.
Mother Nature seems to be working in our favour with a few nice days scattered amongst rain and thunderstorms.
This weather cycle allows for minimal drying of the forest fuels, and is keeping the fire hazard “low” to “moderate” across the region.
Red Lake Fire #26 is “under control” at 1,077 hectares.
This blaze is responding well to suppression efforts and surplus resources are being released.
But Red Lake Fire #32, northeast of Pikangikum First Nation, still is listed as “not under control” burning at 4,417 hectares.
This fire has responded to some suppression actions, but more suppression is needed before it can be declared under control.
It is showing minimal fire behaviour, and is smouldering and creeping along the forest floor.
Infrared scanning is taking place on both fires to locate “hot spots.”
Hot spots are areas that are exactly that—hot. These can be large upturned root masses, areas where the ground has a lot of litter build-up (i.e. needles, leaves, and other debris), or cracks and crevasses where fire can smouldering between rocks and the ground, etc.
If the wind and the temperature start to rise, and it’s relatively dry, there is potential for that hot spot to come to the surface and start burning again.
So, early in the morning, these hot spots are detected by flying over the fires with infrared.
The location of the hot spots then is transferred onto a map and crews go out during the day with water and hand tools to extinguish them.
In related news, the eight monitored fires caused by lightening continue to burn with no problems anticipated.
These remote fires will help to rejuvenate those specific ecosystems without harm or discomfort to the public, property, or values.