MNR firefighters still keeping busy

Despite the fact there’s no fires currently burning in the Fort Frances District, Ministry of Natural Resources FireRanger crews have had a hectic schedule over the past few weeks.
“After last week’s storms, we’ve been very busy,” said Matt Myers, the MNR’s fire management supervisor here.
He noted FireRanger crews not only responded to six lightning-caused blazes but also worked alongside other MNR staff, district residents, and other emergency services to sandbag, patrol for stranded people, and assess forest access roads from both the land and air.
“As for myself, I just got back from Dryden #10,” said Myers, referring to a large fire that has been burning for weeks in the Dryden area. It is only now listed as “under control.”
“Two of our 10 crews are also in Alberta while another one is in Saskatchewan,” he added, noting two fire technicians and one radio operator from here also have been deployed.
“We’ve gotten a lot of really good reports back about the diversity of our crews when they go to help out in other areas,” remarked Myers.
A total of 45 FireRanger crews from around the region have been deployed to Alberta.
It also is likely the U.S. will request MNR fire crews from the region to help out at various fires in some of the western states if the manpower can be spared.
“It’s a balancing act,” said Myers. “You have to deal with the situation at hand while managing your resources so you can help out elsewhere.”
Surprisingly, Myers noted last week’s torrential rainfall only temporarily dampened area woodlands—warning the fire situation here could change very shortly.
“On June 10 and 11, we were looking at record rainfall. Here it is on June 17 [and] we’re at the high end of ‘moderate’ with the fire hazard,” he said.
“It doesn’t take long, and we’ve always got to be ready,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, there are only seven active fire in the region (in the Dryden, Sioux Lookout, and Nipigon districts). Most of these were caused by lightning.
There have been a total of 108 fires so far in the region since the fire season began April 1.

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