Five new fires as hazard climbs

There were five new fires in the region yesterday, including one each in the Dryden and Red Lake districts and three in Thunder Bay District, the Ministry of Natural Resources’ fire management program reported this morning.
Although some of the fires proved challenging, burning in storm-damaged timber and showing some fire intensity, aggressive attack by ground and air is keeping them in check.
The forest industry also is working with the MNR fire management program to reduce the risk of industry-caused fires by short-shifting or shutting down high-risk operations.
Fort Frances District has seen a total of 43 blazes, consuming 20.2 hectares, since the MNR fire season began April 1.
Overall, the West Fire Region has seen a total of 294 fires to date, burning 1,864.2 ha.
Going into the weekend, the fire hazard currently is “high-extreme” in the Fort Frances, Dryden, Kenora, and Thunder Bay districts, and “medium-extreme” in the Nipigon, Red Lake, and Sioux Lookout districts.
In related news, additional resources from Ontario are being dispatched to the western provinces to aid in their firefighting efforts.
One Mobile Values Protection Team was dispatched to British Columbia yesterday. This team will focus on the strategic installation of sprinkler systems for protection of buildings threatened by fire.
The team includes three Ontario FireRanger crews and four overhead staff.
In addition, one fire behaviour officer was dispatched to British Columbia to assist in the assessment and predicted behaviour of active forest fires.
To report a wildfire in Northwestern Ontario, call 1-888-284-FIRE (3473).