The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone in the districts of Fort Frances, Kenora, Dryden, and the southern portion of the Red Lake, Thunder Bay, and Sioux Lookout districts, and along the north shore of Lake Superior in Nipigon District.
During a Restricted Fire Zone, the use of open fires—such as campfires or the burning of brush or debris—is restricted.
Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire.
Portable gas or propane stoves are permitted for use for cooking or warmth, although they should be closely monitored.
Portable charcoal barbecues and Hibachis are not permitted unless within 100 metres of a dwelling, or within an organized campground.
Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to enjoy campfires during a Restricted Fire Zone period provided they meet certain conditions.
The Restricted Fire Zone is a temporary measure to reduce the number of new human-caused wildfires as the Aviation Forest Fire and Emergency Services branch of the MNRF expects the elevated forest fire hazard to continue into the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, there currently are eight active fires in the Northwest Region, with four new fire starts yesterday.
Kenora Fire #31 is a small blaze off Ostersund Road, just west of Kenora, that first was actioned by the local fire department.
The fire was listed as “being held” at last report.
Thunder Bay Fire #13, which also is being held by Fire Rangers, is located off Highway 102, west of the city.
Thunder Bay Fire #14 was listed as “not under control” at 0.1 hectares at last report.
And Sioux Lookout Fire #6, located east of the town of Sioux Lookout off Highway 642, has been declared “out.”
One notable fire—Fort Frances Fire #5, located near Silvertip Lake—has grown to 20 hectares in size.
It was listed as “not under control” at last report.
To report a forest fire, call 310-FIRE (3473).