Rain dampens fire hazard

Local Ministry of Natural Resources FireRanger crews should have a quiet weekend since the fire hazard has dropped to “low” thanks to recent rainfall.
“Going into today, we were looking at a ‘high’ to ‘extreme.’ But with the amount of rain we had last night, we should be under the ‘low’ hazard for the next two-three days,” fire operations supervisor Harrold Boven said this morning.
He noted the west end of the district received more than 100 mm of rain while the east end about 20 mm, adding it’s helped prevent fires in the south end of Quetico Park—the area’s most potentially hazardous spot for fires right now.
“We were getting concerned. Even yesterday, we had stations [like logging operations] that were either shutting down or going half-days as a precaution,” remarked Boven.
Earlier this week, a mix of hot weather and lightning saw FireRanger crews tackle three fires—the first in several weeks.
Fire crews responded to a small blaze Wednesday on an island near Alexander Bay on Rainy Lake. The fire, which was threatening a building there, was put out yesterday morning.
The cause is still under investigation.
There were two new fires reported Tuesday—one about halfway up Highway 502 and the other near Atikokan. Both were small, lightning-caused blazes that were extinguished quickly.
These three fires brought up the Fort Frances District total to 19 since April 1.
In related news, five of the 10 Fort Frances-based FireRanger crews still are helping to battle blazes in western Canada. Two crews are near La Ronge, Sask. while the other three are in Red Earth and Trout Mills, Alta.