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More fires start up

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Five new fires were confirmed in the region by yesterday evening, including one in Fort Frances District, two in Kenora District, and two in Red Lake District.

Immediate initial attack has meant most new fires were declared “under control” or “out” within 24 hours.

One fire of note is Kenora Fire #18, in the Ingolf area about 55 km west of Kenora.

It was estimated at 2,800 hectares in size at last report and still is listed as “not under control.”

Further growth on this fire is expected as it continues to show extreme fire behaviour under dry and windy conditions.

Winds pushed the fire northwesterly yesterday after having been pushed southeasterly on the weekend.

An Incident Management Team has been assigned to the fire, which has had continuous air attack with CL-415 heavy waterbombers.

Ontario FireRangers, meanwhile, are working on ground attack—working to establish hose lines around the perimeter of the fire.

Another fire of note is Red Lake Fire #3, which is listed as “not under control” with an estimated size of 40,000 hectares on the Ontario side.

It has a total size of 50,000 hectares combined with Ontario and Manitoba as this fire also is straddling the provincial boundary.

The Ontario portion of the fire is located in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and Ontario Parks strongly cautions people to avoid the southwest portion of the park while suppression action is underway.

Assessment for closures of routes or portage continue, so people are advised to check with the park office for updates and information on possible route or access closures.

The contact number is 1-807-727-1329.

Aerial ignition was planned to run from north to south yesterday, but extreme fire behaviour pushed it north.

Aerial ignition and FireRanger crews taking limited suppression action on the fire then focused on the south end of the blaze.

Smoky conditions are expected to continue in the region.

The location of the smoke drift will depend on wind direction.

Residents also are reminded that a Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect for much of Northwestern Ontario.

It will remain in place until conditions improve.

Under the RFZ, all open fires are prohibited.

Campfires may be allowed at some organized campgrounds or parks that use approved fire pits and meet certain other criteria (campers should check with the owners or operators first).

People still can use portable gas stoves for cooking and warmth, but the public is asked to exercise extreme caution.

Fire staff and conservation officers strictly will enforce the restrictions on open burning.

Report forest fires by calling 310-FIRE (3473).

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