Officials in Temagami hope to start lifting evacuations following forest fire

It looks like the worst has been avoided in Temagami, Ont., but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says it is still working to put out the fire that forced the evacuation of about 20 homes.

Fire started on Sunday after a lightning strike

A picture from Mowat Landing Cottages in nearby New Liskeard, about 30 kilometres from the fire. (Supplied by Trevor Graydon )

It looks like the worst has been avoided in Temagami, Ont., but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says it is still working to put out the fire that forced the evacuation of about 20 homes.

On Sunday, a forest fire was started by a lightning strike, southwest of the town, which is located about 100 km north of North Bay, Ont.

An evacuation was also done of two provincial parks, including Finlayson Point and Marten River.

The town's emergency co-ordinator Brian Koski says the measures are largely precautionary.

"It's a good thing in that you don't see all the bombers heading to it, so it's being done by land attack with assistance by land attack," he said.

"Hopefully soon, we'll be able to lift some of the evacuations."

Ashley Legacy and Omar Contreras say they decided to evacuate their family cottage near Temagami after they turned around and saw seven water bombers taking water from their lake. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

But many in Temagami are shaken by the fire. Ashley Legacy and Omar Contreras were enjoying time at their family cottage with their two young children.

They realized something was wrong when they turned around to spot water bombers skimming their lake.

"The kids they were crying," Contreras said.

"I don't know, it was very scary."

Avoid the area

Meanwhile, the province has issued a forest fire "Emergency Area Order" for that area. The declaration allows emergency crews to impose road closures and other emergency measures on short notice as they battle changing fire conditions in the region.

"There are lots of active fires due to numerous lightning strikes," Shayne McCool with the ministry said.

"We are advising people to avoid the area — even just for smoke conditions."

A forest fire has been raging dangerously close to the northeastern Ontario town of Temagami. Things seem to be improving, but some of the people who evacuated are still shaken up by the scary scene. The CBC's Benjamin Aubé spoke with some of the people in the community. 7:47

He also advises people looking to canoe and camp in the area to avoid doing so for now.

"This week will see few days with any rain, so conditions could change quickly," he said.

The ministry asks residents in the area to tie boats and float planes as close as possible to allow space for water bombers.

It adds that new lightning fires have already been confirmed as of Tuesday morning, with several new starts expected in northeastern Ontario as a result of recent thunderstorms.

With files from Benjamin Aubé, Dave Seglins

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