Fires still igniting across region

A total of 15 new fires, caused by both human activity and lightning strikes, were reported in the region over the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Natural Resources said this morning.
“We’ve got a real mixture going on out there,” MNR information and marketing specialist Deb MacLean said this morning.
“The weather from the west brought some rain, but not a lot of rain,” she noted. “Our weather report from our Sault Ste. Marie office this morning showed we had over 4,200 lightning strikes over our region.”
As a result, a total of 10 new fires were expected by the end of today.
So far, all the new fires have been in the Dryden, Kenora, Nipigon, and Thunder Bay districts.
But MacLean noted Mother Nature isn’t entirely to blame for recent fire activity.
“People are starting to start fires more than they did during the peak time in July,” she said. “We can position resources in areas where we anticipate new fires to pop up, for instance if we’ve tracked some lightning and we know the area isn’t all that wet.
“But with human behaviour, sometimes it’s a little more difficult to predict where those fires are going to start.
“We’re going to be flying continuous aerial patrols over the region, and that will include areas where there’s expected to be high recreational activity, over popular lakes and that kind of thing.
“There [also] will be enforcement patrols out there,” added MacLean. “Just a reminder to people to watch their campfires and shore lunch fires.”
She noted rural residents also should recall that there’s to be no burning during the day. No fires should be lit prior to two hours before sunset and they should be out no later than two hours after sunrise.
Meanwhile, FireRangers made good progress with Sioux Lookout #97 yesterday, circling the fire with hose. They were supported by a helicopter using a helibucket to drop water on hot spots.
Eight Type I FireRanger crews currently are committed to the fire while four Type II crews arrived at it today to support the firefighting efforts.
The fire is located about 60 km west and north of Sioux Lookout, and is 40 hectares in size. It is classed as “not under control.”
The cause still is being investigated.