Parry Sound 33 fire chars 5,000 hectares, pushes people out of Henvey Inlet and Key River area

A fire about 90 km south of Greater Sudbury continued to wreak havoc over the weekend, charring close to 5,000 hectares of land and forcing the evacuation of some people.

As of Sunday night, Ministry says 60 fires are burning in the northeast, 28 "not yet under control"

Yvonne and Edward Lacasse stand in front of their home on Hartley Bay Road in the French River area, west of Highway 69. The road was placed under an evacuation alert by the MNRF. The Municipalities of French River and Killarney both enacted their emergency management plans over the weekend due to poor air quality, and Henvey Inlet First Nation declared a state of emergency and evacuated everyone as a precaution. (Angela Gemmill/CBC News)

A fire about 90 km south of Greater Sudbury continued to wreak havoc over the weekend, charring close to 5,000 hectares of land and forcing the evacuation of some people. 

Parry Sound 33 was discovered on Wednesday, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said water bombers have been soaring overhead ever since, trying to suppress the fire and support ground crews working to put it out. 

Henvey Inlet First Nation declared a state of emergency, and everyone in the community of about 150 was evacuated as a precaution. 

Nearby in the Key Harbour area, about 50 boat-in residents were evacuated. 

And, people camping in the French River Provincial Park west of highway 69 were also under a mandatory evacuation order.

Jennifer Lacasse has a trailer on Hartley Bay Road. She told CBC News the smoke made it hard to breathe.

"When the ash started falling from the sky, we kind of said, 'Okay.' We packed up and finally convinced my in-laws that have been living here for over 50 years, so we packed up and went back to our house in Noelville."

Claude Bouffard, mayor of the Municipality of French River, said smoke in the community of Alban prompted his team to enact its emergency management plan.

He said the weather on Sunday definitely helped when there was no smoke in air.

"The fire did not enlarge too much, therefore it was a good night. And the winds have changed so it's blowing away from us, so that's good," Bouffard said.

Isabelle Chenard with the MNRF said smoke in the air could be a recurring problem.

"We will likely be continuing to note smoke in many areas of northeastern Ontario in the weeks to come based on the number of active fires in the province," Chenard said. 

As of Sunday, the MNRF reported 60 forest fires burning in the northeast region, 28 of which were not under control.

Firefighters from across Canada, the U-S and Mexico have been arriving in the region to help out the Ontario crews. 


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