Northwestern Ontario faces the worst forest fire seasons in 10 years with over 900 forest fires sparked this year, that have burned over 500,000 hectares.
Yesterday, 28 new fires were discovered bringing the active fire count to 148, with 59 of those fires considered not under control.
MPP Greg Rickford, Minister for Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDMNRF) offers an update on the forest fire situation.
"Red 051 is still a big uncontrolled fire and obviously a lot of the smoke that we got last night was coming down from the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. Those fires in that area and the smoke that comes from them are still a significant challenge for us. There are still too many [fires] that are uncontrolled," said MPP Rickford.
According to the MNDMNRF, 3,086 people have been evacuated from Poplar Hill First Nation, Deer Lake First Nation, Pikangikum First Nation, North Spirit Lake First Nation, and Cat Lake First Nation.
Minister Rickford added that there haven't been any additional requests for evacuation as a result of the fires, but talks are ongoing with several communities.
"We're always on standby and we keep in close contact in particular with Red Lake and with Pikangikum on a daily basis, at a very senior level with, unlimited access to our resources and to the people responsible for deploying them, and we have not evacuated any people further," added MPP Rickford.
The wildland fire hazard ranges from high to extreme in the Kenora District, to a full range of conditions – from low to extreme – the result of localized showers in Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Fort Frances, Thunder Bay, and Nipigon districts.
Smoke from forest fires burning in northern Ontario and eastern Manitoba has blown into the more populated areas of the region and is expected to stick around through the weekend.