The Canada Day Long Weekend was a busy three days for local firefighters with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Aviation, Emergency Services and Forest Fire branch.
Although there were no fires found on July 2, crews found four new fires on July 1, and are dealing with multiple large fires across the district.
Out of the four fires found on July 1, Sioux Lookout 45 was a short-lived, 0.1 hectare lightning-caused fire north of Pickle Lake that has now been declared out. Dryden Fire 15 was spotted near the Trans-Canada highway corridor near English River. That 0.1 hectare fire has also been declared out.
Red Lake fire 63 was spotted along the southern shore of Pierce Lake in the northern reaches of the Red Lake district, near the Manitoba boundary. The 10 hectare fire is now under observation. Red Lake fire 62 is located in the remote Opasquia Provincial Park. The 15 hectare, lightning-caused fire is now under observation.
The region’s largest fire, Red Lake 38, was upgraded in size to over 28,000 hectares as it merged with Red Lake Fire 52 on July 1. Twelve crews with the MNRF fought the fire, with the help of 15-20 millimetres of rain over Canada Day. The fire is close to the community of North Spirit Lake.
Ten crews with helicopter bucket support are also making headway on Sioux Lookout fire 37, near Sachigo Lake. The 200 hectare fire remains not under control.
Thirty kilometres west of Pikangikum First Nation, ten crews have been fighting Red Lake fire 60 – a 156 hectare fire that’s listed as not under control.
The forest fire hazard in the region is predominantly low and moderate across most of the region, with pockets of high hazard conditions near Dryden and Sioux Lookout. There are currently 38 active fires in the region, 35 of which are listed as under control, being held or under observation.