Sudbury

Quiet forest fire season in northern Ontario so far, says Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

There have been 226 confirmed forest fires in the region so far, compared to 1,176 during the same period last year, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Just 226 confirmed forest fires this year compared to 1,176 fires during the same period last year

People in safety jackets clearing fallen trees and branches.
In early June, fire rangers helped clear debris in the Ottawa area after a major storm hit the region. The fire season in Ontario runs from April 1 to Oct. 31. (Submitted by Isabelle Chenard)

It's been a quiet forest fire season in northern Ontario so far.

There have been 226 confirmed forest fires in the region so far, compared to 1,176 during the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The fire season in Ontario runs from April 1 to Oct. 31. 

Isabelle Chenard, a forest fire information officer with the ministry, said the season started later than normal due to a lot of precipitation in April. 

"Then we saw a bit of a short fire flap in early to mid-May and since then, the numbers of fires have been very low in comparison to previous years," she said.

This year, forest fires have burned a total of 2,517 hectares of land in Ontario. In 2021, they burned 784,000 hectares of land.

Chenard said the 2021 season was especially busy in northwestern Ontario due to dry conditions.

A group of forest rangers in front of a waterbomber.
In late July, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry sent 40 fire rangers to Manitoba to help with wildfires. (Submitted by Isabelle Chenard)

As of Sept. 2, there were four active forest fires in northern Ontario, according to the ministry's website. All four were under control and under one hectare in size.

More rain this year has meant fire crews in the province have been deployed to other parts of Canada.

In July, specialists from Ontario were sent to the Yukon and Alberta to support crews with forest fires.

"On July 26, we also deployed a second group of 40 fire rangers and five fire management personnel to Manitoba to keep helping with their active fires that were ongoing," Chenard said.

Chenard said it's important people in northern Ontario practise fire safety when in the woods.

"Make sure that your campfire remains supervised at all times and that you are extinguishing it thoroughly prior to leaving the area," she said.

"And that means essentially putting water on it, stirring it with a stick to help the water go down into the embers and then adding more water in addition to that."

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