Large fire burning in west end

The first fire of the district’s 2004 season—a 1,230 ha blaze northwest of Rainy River—currently is being “held” by Ministry of Natural Resources FireRanger crews.
MNR fire information officer Deb McLean said Monday morning that Fort Frances Fire #1 was reported Saturday around 1 p.m.
Two local MNR FireRanger crews, as well as the Dawson Township Fire Department, responded to the blaze, which was burning in what McLean called a “wildland game area” consisting of trees and bogs.
She noted crews have had to fight the fire by bringing it to a “natural boundary.” They also have been igniting grass areas in anticipation of the blaze’s movement in an attempt to halt it.
A helicopter also was used for bucketing.
It is difficult to say when the fire may be declared “out,” said McLean, because if it moves to a bog area, it may smoulder there for a long period of time.
She noted no “values” (houses or equipment) have been destroyed by the blaze at this point.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Meanwhile, Fort Frances Fire #2 also was reported Saturday. One FireRanger crew responded to this 3.5-ha. blaze located on Flanders Road southwest of Lac La Croix.
This fire, which is classified as “under control” at this time, also is being investigated.
McLean noted these two fires were the only two burning in the West Fire Region as of this morning, but added this is not surprising as Fort Frances District often is one of the areas to first see action in the spring.