The fire situation is heating up for the Ministry of Natural Resources, with six new fires reported in the West Fire Region yesterday on top of the eight on Wednesday.
Among these new starts, eight have been in the east end of the Fort Frances District.
Seven were caused by lightning while the cause of the other one remains unconfirmed at this time.
Reported just yesterday were Fort Frances Fire #27, a 0.1-hectare blaze fire which is being observed in Quetico Provincial Park, and Fort Frances Fire #28, a 0.2-ha fire classified as “under control” east of Atikokan.
Reported the day before were Fort Frances Fire #21, a 0.3-ha fire north of Atikokan which is “under control,” Fort Frances Fire #22, a 0.1-ha blaze about 10 km southeast of Atikokan and classified as “not under control,” and Fort Frances Fires #23 and #24, both 0.1 ha in size observed at the south end of Quetico Park.
Two of the eight starts, Fort Frances Fires #25 and #26, both of which were reported in the Atikokan area, are now “out.”
While rain from recent storms eased the fire hazard to “moderate” through the central portions of the region, the hazard remains “high to extreme” east of Fort Frances (such as Quetico Park).
One notable blaze in the region is Red Lake Fire #32, which was first reported Tuesday about 15 km northeast of Pikangikum.
It has since reached a size of 4,200 ha and has 14 FireRanger crews on the line.
Two CL-415 heavy waterbombers are supporting the firefighting effort on this fire.
The region currently has a total of 17 active fires, covering 7,205.8 ha.
So far this year, the region has seen 238 fires, burning 7,896.9 ha.
MNR fire information officer Debbie MacLean said the numbers clearly show the season is much more busy than 2009.
By October, the region had seen just 194 fires in all, burning 13,934 ha.
In related news, out-of-province resources have arrived from the Northwest Territories, Alberta, and British Columbia to support firefighting efforts in the East Fire Region, where a Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect.
To report a forest fire, call 310-FIRE (3473).