Forest fire danger heats up

The forest fire situation in Northwestern Ontario continues to escalate.
Hot temperatures, minimal rainfall, and severe lightning have led to a significant increase in the number of new forest fire starts, the Ministry of Natural Resources reported this morning.
On top of that, the forecast for the next few days is not anticipated to bring any significant relief to the forest fire situation, the ministry added.
As the forest continues to dry out, the volatility of new fire starts will increase and the potential for larger problematic fires to occur will rise, it warned.
The MNR will have firefighters and waterbombers on red alert in order to quickly respond to any new fire starts.
While a Restricted Fire Zone has not been called here yet, the fire hazard across all sections of Northwestern Ontario is “high” to “extreme.”
Yesterday proved to be another very active day in the West Fire Region. Multiple fire starts, combined with volatile fire behaviour, challenged fire suppression efforts over the day.
A total 18 new fires were reported in the region yesterday, including one in Fort Frances District.
Nipigon District led the way with nine, followed by three in Kenora District, two in Red Lake District, one each in the Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout, and Dryden districts.
A total of 40 new fires were reported in the West Fire Region on Saturday, including five in Fort Frances District.
Eleven others occurred in Kenora District, with seven in Dryden District, six in Red Lake District, five in Sioux Lookout District, one in Thunder Bay District, and five in Nipigon District.
Excellent results were recorded despite the high amount of new starts as most fires were contained to sizes of less than one hectare, said the MNR.
Nine fires currently are being monitored in Quetico Park. While these blazes fulfill their natural role of renewing the forest ecosystem, fire managers will continue to monitor them closely.
Some smoke may be prevalent in the surrounding area as a result of these fires. If you are concerned with smoke in your area, contact your local health unit.
To report a wildfire in Northwestern Ontario, call 1-888-284-FIRE (3473).