Evacuation orders expanded due to Parry Sound 33 forest fire

A notice of evacuation order has been issued for the Municipality of Killarney as a North American team of firefighters and officials work to try and control the fast-growing Parry Sound 33 forest fire, which was within five kilometres of Highway 69, the Trans-Canada Highway, late Monday.

41 wildfires are burning in northeastern Ontario, with 15 deemed out of control

Smoke blankets the area as Ministry of Natural Resources firefighters work on a boat at Flat Rapids Camp and Resort on the French River near Killarney, Ont., on Tuesday. (Fred Thornhill/Canadian Press)

More areas south of Sudbury, Ont., received evacuation notices today as firefighters continue to try to control a fast-growing forest fire known as Parry Sound 33.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the fire has now grown to 10,139 hectares.

The evacuation orders affect several areas of the Municipality of Killarney, including Travers, Allen, Struthers, Kilpatrick, Bigwood (including Hartley Bay Road, a portion of Mowat, the Unsurveyed Area, 14 Mile Island and French River Provincial Park. It does not include the Town of Killarney.

Heavy smoke is affecting several communities, including Alban, south of Sudbury. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Evacuation orders that were issued earlier for properties on Key River and Pickerel River, as well as Henvey Inlet First Nation, remain in place.

There's no word on when the orders might be lifted.

Evacuation alert

According to the Ministry of Natural Resource, as of late Monday evening, there were 41 fires burning across northeastern Ontario. Fifteen of those aren't under control.

A sign in Alban, Ont., says what many residents of the area are thinking as firefighters continue to battle a blaze south of Sudbury. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Parry Sound 33 is of particular concern because it was less than a kilometre from the Pickerel River and just five kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 69) on Monday night, prompting fears it could shut down the main highway. 

Crews and officials from across Canada, the United States and Mexico are part of the effort to get Parry Sound 33 under control.

"It is creeping a little bit closer to the highway for sure," said Matt Bell, an information officer with Alberta Wildfires. "But we're at a point where we're able to guide it in certain directions and really focus on keeping it away from higher priority zones."

Matt Bell, a fire information officer from Alberta, says there are concerns the Parry Sound 33 fire could reach the Trans-Canada Highway. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

Residents in Alban, south of Greater Sudbury, are under an evacuation alert. It was issued by the Municipality of French River on Monday night and means residents will get 24 hours' notice to leave the community should an evacuation order be issued.

One of the largest forest fires, the Lady Evelyn fire cluster in the Temiskaming region, is still at 27,275 hectares. Crews continue to use heavy equipment to build a fire break in the bush to help protect the nearby town of Elk Lake.

Air quality concerns

Environment Canada warned that due to smoke from forest fires, air quality could again be compromised in the following areas Tuesday:

  • Espanola, Killarney.
  • North Bay, Powassan, Mattawa.
  • West Nipissing, French River.
  • Bayfield Inlet, Dunchurch.

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