Thunder Bay

Ontario forest fire season relatively quiet, with 666 fires

It was a relatively quiet year for forest fires in Ontario, with 666 fires recorded across the province between April 1 and Oct. 31, 2015.

Forest fires destroyed only 1/3 the area expected in an average year

A forest fire west of Kenora, Ont., closed the road to Shoal Lake 39 First Nation in May. It was one of the more challenging fires in a slower than usual fire season. (Submitted by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

It was a relatively quiet year for forest fires in Ontario, with 666 fires recorded across the province between April 1 and Oct. 31, 2015.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) said in total, forest fires consumed 39,312 hectares of Ontario's forests. 

​That's half the number of forest fires and a third the area that would be destroyed in a typical year, based on the 10-year average.

The Northwest Region of the province witnessed 352 fires. Of those, 163 of the fires were caused by people, while 189 were due to lightning strikes. 
Two amphibious skimming aircraft from Ontario were sent Vancouver Island to fight forest fires this summer. British Columbia experienced a much more active fire season than Ontario.

Kenora and Dryden regions were active early in the season, while the far north experienced more fires later.

In the northwest, fires of note were Kenora 05, Kenora 28, Red 17, and the Muskrat Dam Complex, which is comprised of Sioux Lookout 31, 32, 33 and 40.  The MNRF described those fires as requiring aggressive suppression from crews and aircraft. 

Although the fire season in the province was relatively quiet, Ontario fire crews were still busy. More than 1000 firefighters were sent to blazes in the western provinces and territories as well as the United States.

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