The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is urging the public to be careful when burning, as the forest fire hazard is high to extreme across northwestern Ontario.

Firefighters with the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services branch of the MNRF have been dealing with many small forest fires in the region lately. Eight new fires were confirmed in the area yesterday, and more potential fires are currently being investigation.

The fires are located in the Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Thunder Bay districts. The MNRF say that they range in size from 0.1 to 12 hectares. Several of the smaller fires have been declared out.

The MNRF adds that residents should know the rules and follow Ontario’s outdoor burning regulations when burning grass and wood debris safely, as well as any local bylaws that may be in effect. They say that residents should consider chipping or composting brush or grass before burning.

If you are planning to perform any outdoor burning, make sure that you have tools and water on-hand to put your fire out, and never leave it unattended. Fires are to be started no sooner than two hours before sunset and extinguished no later than two hours after sunrise.

Residents are also warned that flying a drone within 9 kilometres of a forest fire is illegal, and may put the lives of pilots, firefighters and other emergency workers at risk.

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