Forest fires still burning near Timmins, Ont.
Evacuation order lifted for Kamiskotia, an area in the west end of Timmins
A new forest fire is burning north of Highway 101 near Timmins, Ont., creating a new challenge for firefighters who have been working to contain another fire in the area.
Karen Passmore, a Ministry of Natural Resources fire information officer, said Friday that the new fire prompted the evacuation of a campground.
The new fire comes as crews battle to contain an another fire in the Timmins area. The existing fire, considered the largest in the province, was still about 30-35 kilometres from the city on Friday evening.
"It did cross over Highway 144, we don't have a lot of information at this point, but we'll continue to provide information as we recieve it," Passmore said Friday about the larger fire, called Timmins Fire 9.
Timmins has declared a state of emergency.
Late Friday, a city official sent out a news release saying the evacuation order for the residents of Kamiskotia, an area in the west end of Timmins, has been lifted.
"After reviewing a number of variables with MNR and Timmins Fire Service, the decision was made to lift the evacuation order and allow the residents of the Kamiskotia area back to their homes," the release said. "All other evacuation orders remain in effect."
According to the MNR, strong, gusting winds led to "significant growth" on the large Timmins fire in recent days.
But fire crews are hoping for some relief over the weekend. Forecasts suggest that winds could become light in some areas and there's a chance of rain in the region.
That unpredictability and heavy smoke that's hanging over the city has Timmins residents like Rochelle Lavoie on edge.
"I'm not sure what is going on," she said.
The Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at a hockey rink, and as many as 1,000 evacuees are expected to check in here. But most people are staying with friends and family for now.
Emergency officials were to meet later this morning to assess whether the fire is moving any closer to this city of almost 50,000 people.
A similar scene will play out in the Kirkland Lake area, where forest fires are also an issue.
That community of 10,000 people remains on standby to evacuate. The fire there is much smaller but is burning just a few kilometres away.
An update posted by Emergency Management Ontario earlier Friday said there are 43 active fires in northeastern Ontario.
According to EMO, about 1,300 people are working to fight the fires. About 800 people have been displaced by the fires in the Kirkland Lake and Timmins areas, the Ministry of Natural Resources said.