Oct. 31 marked the end of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ forest fire season, which officially began on April 1.
Provincially, there were 383 fires and 20,656 hectares burned, with the West Fire Region reporting 194 fires consuming 13,934 ha.
This is fewer regional fires than last year, which saw 218 blazes between April 1-Oct. 31.
But compared to the 1,215 ha that burned last season, much more area burned this year thanks to several very large fires in the northern part of Northwestern Ontario.
As well, fewer fires did not mean area firefighters were not busy as many of them spent the summer months lending assistance battling blazes in British Columbia.
One new fire was reported in the West Fire Region between Oct. 23-26.
Thunder Bay Fire Management headquarters staff responded to a report of a smouldering fire burning in moss and vegetation on a site about 20 km north of Thunder Bay.
The 0.1-ha fire has been determined to be an old lightning fire that was smouldering for a long period of time.
It was discovered by members of the public while on a hike.
The fire has since been put “out.”
Meanwhile, Dryden District reported smouldering continues at the site of a successful prescribed burn on an island on Eagle Lake back in September.
This is beneficial as the smouldering continues to burn off storm-damaged forest, reducing the potential for future forest fire hazards and restoring the island’s ecosystem.
The fire is not posing any problems, and is being monitored as it goes out naturally.
Dryden Fire #24, a fire on another island on Eagle Lake that started in October, also is being observed.
This 0.3-ha blaze is expected to smoulder and eventually go out naturally.