Lightning strike sparks fire burning in northern Ontario First Nation

Water bombers were buzzing over Sandy Lake First Nation in northern Ontario on Thursday and Friday attempting to douse a 10-hectare forest fire in the community.

10-hectare fire has not prompted an evacuation order, Ministry of Natural Resources says

A water bomber comes in for a landing at Sandy Lake First Nation in northern Ontario on Thursday night. (Kesha Ashley Rae/Facebook)

Water bombers were buzzing over Sandy Lake First Nation in northern Ontario on Thursday and Friday, attempting to douse a 10-hectare forest fire in the community.

The fire started with a lightning strike about 1:30 p.m. on August 10, according to Deb MacLean, a fire information officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Fire crews are "aggressively attacking" the fire from both the air and ground, she said because, although it's small, the fire is very close to the community.

Several other fires in the most northern parts of the province aren't requiring as much action from firefighters.

A 13,000-hectare fire burning about 25 kilometres northeast of Eabametoong (Fort Hope) First Nation is "not really a problem," MacLean said, even though it was the largest fire burning in the region on Friday.

That fire hasn't changed in size for several days.

"The characteristic we're finding with many of these fires is that they're really quite small and likely to burn down to a natural fire stop" such as a lake, she said.

Because the fires are burning slowly, smoke hasn't been a problem either, Maclean said., so as of Friday afternoon there had not been evacuation orders for either Sandy Lake or Eabametoong.