Rash of new fires reported

By yesterday evening, the forest fire management program in Northwestern Ontario had responded to 54 new blazes—bringing the number of active fires in the region to 242.
The massive firefighting effort being carried out by FireRanger crews, air attack, and service and support personnel is making some headway, with multiple fires being declared “under control” or “out” each day.
However, the situation continues to challenge firefighting resources.
With the high number of new fires reported daily, many in the region are receiving air attack or simple monitoring as the focus remains on placing firefighting resources on those fires that threaten people, property, and industrial values.
Values being protected include resident and cottage properties, equipment, industrial installations, and harvested wood and forest industry resources.
No communities are directly threatened by fire at this time, and the fire management program remains vigilant against any such threat.
Public calls concerned about the status of the fires and the firefighting resources on fires are coming in to the MNR fire offices. It is important to note that every fire is receiving a response in the region.
Every fire reported is assessed immediately by fire behaviour specialists, and mapped and monitored constantly. Any fires posing threats to people and properties receive immediate aggressive initial attack from both the ground and the air.
Those fires with less intense fire behaviour—located in areas that do not pose an immediate threat to people or values—will receive fire suppression personnel as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, these fires constantly are monitored and if there is a change, managers employ a number of strategies to deal with them, including:
•either attack from both the ground and the air;
•attack from the air;
•staffing of resources on those parts of a fire posing a threat;
•values protection equipment placed on any values in the vicinity of the fire; and
•the use of back burning to fight fire with fire.
Another strategy is to direct fires to burn into natural boundaries such as lakes and rivers, bringing the fire spread to a halt.
Firefighter safety is a top priority for the fire program and it is essential that placement of crews on fires be such that their safety also is ensured.
The same holds true for all aircraft involved in the firefighting effort, from heavy waterbombers and birddog air attack units to helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
A Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect in the region and people have been charged under the Forest Fires Prevention Act for contravening this fire ban.
Quebec is providing support in the firefighting effort with air and ground resources. The East Fire Region of Ontario also has provided fires crews and support staff.
In related news, provincial fire staff currently on an international firefighting assignment with the United States will be returning to Ontario today.
They will return to their home districts, take some much-needed days off after their gruelling firefighting on major forest fires in Montana, and be back ready for service by the weekend.