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Larger fire sizes affected more areas this forest fire season in northwestern Ontario

There have been far fewer forest fires in northwestern Ontario this year, according to the ministry's fire information officer, but the amount of area that's been burned has been much more than last year.

There has been a total of 329 fires this season compared to 984 last year

According to the Ministry's Fire Information officer, Chris Marchand, this year's forest fire season has been "much less in terms of numbers." Firefighters saw a over 300 fires this year, compared to 984 last year. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

There have been far fewer forest fires in northwestern Ontario this year, according to the ministry's fire information officer, but the amount of area that's been burned has been much more than last year.

Two large fires in the area, Red Lake 23 and 39 contributed to the massive burn as all those fires prompted the evacuation of residents in First Nation communities nearby.

"Red 23 near Keewaywin, that fire grew to over 96000 hectares fairly quickly. Also Red 39 at Pikangikum was also a very large fire that counts for a lot of that area affected by fire," Chris Marchand told CBC News.

He said this year, over 300 fires have burned compared to the total of 984 last year throughout the April to October forest fire season.

"It all comes down to the weather and how the weather shapes up from day to day," he added. "If you have a stretch of warm weather with no significant precipitation, the forest fire hazard will escalate and the longer that goes the more potential there is for fires to start and take hold."

Marchand says there's no clear trend in forest fire activity over the past few years as it is are very dependent on the weekly weather system each season.

Several dramatic forest fires here in the northwest have grabbed headlines this summer. We hear more about how wildfire officials say this season stacks up with past years. 2:51