Lack of rain increases fire hazard in southern portion of northwestern Ontario
Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances, Thunder Bay and the lower portion of Nipigon on high fire hazard
According to a fire official with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, two new fires have been identified on Wednesday as the fire hazard in the southern portion of northwestern Ontario reaches high to extreme.
"Currently across the region, the far north has received a significant amount of rainfall which has resulted in a low hazard," Fire information officer, Chris Marchand, told CBC News.
"The southern portion of the region including Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances, Thunder Bay districts and the lower half of the Nipigon district is expected to show a high hazard today, despite some reports of some rain."
He said currently there are 70 active fires in the northwest region with about 63 of them either under observation, being held or under control.
Residents of Wabaseemoong First Nation have now all returned back home after being evacuated from their community due to smoke and poor air quality from the nearby Kenora fire 71.
- Forest Fires: Wabaseemoong residents returning home as air quality improves
- Smoke from forest fire near Kenora, Ont., prompts evacuation of Wabaseemoong F.N.
The two new fires identified on Wednesday were in Dryden and the Nipigon district, according to Marchand, with the fire in Dryden extinguished as of Wednesday afternoon.
Three fires sparked early Tuesday evening, with two of the fires identified in the Red Lake district and one in Sioux Lookout along the north shoreline of Savant Lake.
Kenora Fire 71 has been remapped at 10,887 hectares after a successful aerial ignition, Marchand said, with fire crews from Minnesota arriving on Wednesday to lend a helping hand.
"A bit of wet weather and a some high humidity over the past few days has really reduced the fire behaviour to fairly minimal levels on Kenora 71," Marchand added.
"At the moment there's 148 firefighters from all over Canada and the Great Lakes region working the fire line, with another fire crew from Minnesota that should be arriving [on Wednesday]."
He said some of the fire crews fighting Kenora fire 71 will be re-directed to another fire in Kenora.
A list of all the fires across the province, along with the latest update on the condition of the fire can be viewed on the ministry's interactive map.