The early arrival of spring weather has prompted the Ministry of Natural Resources to call back some of its firefighters earlier than usual.
The MNR is recalling fire crew leaders a week ahead of the official April 1 opening of fire season.
Dave Manol, the fire management supervisor for Thunder Bay, said firefighters need to be prepared before they go to work.
"There's a bunch of training that has to occur," Manol said. "It takes about a day for the re-certification training, so if [we] get our folks in now, they should be ready for any fires that pop up in the next few days."
Manol said firefighters and equipment from Thunder Bay may be sent west of the city. There have already been several outbreaks in the Kenora and Dryden districts.
"We just have to ramp up our training and our preparedness a little bit," Manol said. "We usually get questions throughout the winter from folks not in our business asking us what we do when there's no fire … What we do is basically prepare for this."
Debbie MacLean, an information officer at the Northwest Region Forest Fire Management Centre, said the Ministry has already had to deal with several outbreaks in the Kenora and Dryden districts.
"We're looking right now at dry conditions," MacLean said. "As the snow cover recedes, we've got open fields and cured grass and that's definitely potential for wildfires."