The forest fire hazard continues to rise in the district, with multiple forest fires starting daily.
“It’s busier than previous years. Steady winds are really drying out the forests,” said Chris Marchand, Fire Information Officer with the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services Fire Centre in Dryden.
The City of Dryden, the City of Kenora and the Municipality of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls is currently under a fire ban due to the extreme forest fire hazard.
There were eight new fires confirmed in the Northwest Region by Sunday afternoon. The fires were located in the Kenora, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Red Lake and Nipigon districts. Red Lake Fire Number 20, is currently listed as not under control at 5 hectares, and is located near Pikangikum First Nation.
There were 11 new fires confirmed in the Northwest Region by the end of Saturday. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says that many of these fires are now out, under control or being held. One of the fires, Kenora Fire Number 26, grew to 9.8 hectares and required multiple crews and air attack to suppress it.
Over the weekend, fire crews also responded to Washagamis Bay First Nation, Pelican Pouch and Malachi. Shoal Lake residents could also see smoke on the horizon from Manitoba.
“Areas with dried, cured grasses are particularly susceptible to fast-spreading and dangerous fires. The Kenora and Red Lake districts are exhibiting the highest potential for forest fires in the region. There’s been warm temperatures, low humidity and a lack of precipitation. We’re expecting the forest fire hazard to rise with the warm weather,” Marchand added.
Residents are advised to follow local burning regulations and exercise extreme caution with campfires and open burning. Consider chipping or composting brush or grass before burning.If you’re planning to perform any outdoor burning, make sure 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.
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Fire crews battle blazes