A 1600 hectare forest fire is burning out of control near Poplar Hill First Nation, north of Red Lake. This fire is one of eight currently burning in the region.
The Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says that the fire entered Ontario from Manitoba on May 22.
Crews have established sprinkler protection on structures in the area, and are developing plans to use aerial ignition to bring the fire to natural boundaries. It is currently unknown if any evacuations may be necessary.
There were two new forest fires confirmed in the region yesterday. South of Esther Lake near Kenora, there is a small fire listed as not under control. Close to Borel Lake, near Red Lake, is a larger fire listed at 3.8 hectares that is not under control.
These forest fires come as the forest fire hazard across most of the North West Region is listed as high, with areas of extreme hazard in the Red Lake District.
The MNRF adds that smoke drifts from large fires in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the northern Minnesota may be visible in the region. Concentrations will be moderate to high in communities close to these fires and will be noticeable at ground levels.
The Restricted Fire Zone remains in place for Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay.
During a Restricted Fire Zone, the use of open fires – such as campfires, or burning of brush or debris, is restricted. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire.
Portable gas or propane stoves are permitted for use for cooking or warmth, though they should be closely monitored. Portable charcoal BBQs and Hibachis are not permitted unless within 100 metres of a dwelling, or within an organized campground.
Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to enjoy campfires during a Restricted Fire Zone period provided they meet certain conditions.
The Restricted Fire Zone is a temporary measure to reduce the number of new human-caused wildfires.