Prescribed burn held to reduce fire threat


With the fire hazard remaining high due to the dry conditions this spring, the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service carried out a prescribed burn in the northeast end of town on Saturday.
Fire Chief Gerry Armstrong said firefighters were called out to a grass fire Friday night at the old Armstrong airport property on Eighth Street East.
“It got burning pretty seriously on us there,” he noted.
“We did put it out, and then we made a decision that we would go back on Saturday and reduce the hazard [with a prescribed burn],” Chief Armstrong explained.
The prescribed burn started Saturday morning and was completed by the early afternoon.
It was the first prescribed burn the local fire department has done in a while.
“We really don’t do prescribed burns anymore,” Chief Armstrong said. “Number one, they’re dangerous. Number two, they’re bad for the environment.
“But when it gets to a point where a hazard is greater than doing something controlled, that’s when we’ll determine whether to go in like we did Saturday.”
Meanwhile, with the dry conditions not expected to improve in the near future, the Ministry of Natural Resources continues to ask district municipalities and First Nations to hold off on any open-air burning until there’s more “green up.”
No fires currently are burning in Fort Frances District, but there are three fires in Kenora District and one each in Sioux Lookout and Nipigon areas.
To report a fire to the MNR, use the new toll-free emergency forest fire phone number: 310-FIRE (3473).