Forest fire season has officially begun. Regulations came into effect on April 1 for people across the Ontario.

Fire information officer, Deb MacLean, talks about some of the rules and regulations.

"Now from April 1 to October 31 anyone who is setting a brush or grass fire is to do that no sooner than two hours before sunset and they have to have all fires out no later than 2 hours before sun rise. The idea behind that is to prevent fire from burning during the hottest part of the day," she said.

Fortunately, last year was relatively quiet. MacLean takes a look back on 2014.

"In 2014 it was a quiet year. We did have a late spring. There wasn't an awful lot of dry time and we did have rain and cooler weather through the summer season. Having said that, we did get some fires in the far north that were significant. It is tied to the weather but it is also tied to people," she said.  
Yesterday MNRF water bombers were out practicing on Lake of the Woods. They practiced picking up and dropping water along the water strip between Safety Bay and Rat Portage Bay. MacLean says despite it being early they've already had a few fires.

"This year in 2015 we are already looking at three possibly four fires. We had one fire in the Fort Frances district in March, before the season even began. It will be interesting to see what happens this year. We don't do any long-term forecasting but so far we've had three fires," she said.

The three forest fires have been in the Fort Frances District, the Thunder Bay 1 area and the Kenora 2 area up near Turtle Lake.

MacLean said forest fires usually start during long stretches of hot dry weather. They can start from a lightning strike or human related activity.

As the season continues the MNRF will release warnings about how vulnerable the forests are because of dry weather.

For more information:
Water bombers out practicing
MNR - current fire situation