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Rash of grass fires

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Grass fires were reported in the south and west sectors of the Northwest Region throughout the week.

Every year, residents burning grass or debris ignite wildfires. In the spring, cured grass dries quickly, ignites easily, and can spread out of control quickly.

These fires threaten people and properties, and are expensive to put out.

There were 10 new fires reported in the region between May 6-9, with eight of them in Kenora District, one in Fort Frances District, and one in Sioux Lookout District.

Some of the fires required air attack, which can be challenging at this time of the year with many lakes still covered by ice.

This requires waterbombers to travel further distances to open water, which lengthens the time between pick-up and drop on a fire.

This, along with the rapid fire spread in dead grass and vegetation, makes spring fires dangerous.

People are reminded that if they light an outdoor fire, they are responsible for managing it safely.

Instead of burning, you can mow and compost grass, and chip and compost brush, or use it as mulch.

If you must burn, be sure to follow the safe burning guidelines in the Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario by visiting www.ontario.ca/fireprevention

The Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program remains on alert to respond quickly to any new forest fires.

For FireSmart fire prevention information, call 1-888-258-8842. Forest fires can be reported by calling 310-FIRE (3473).

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