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Fire hazard to jump quickly

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New fires continued to show up in the Northwest Region, with about a dozen reported by early yesterday evening while the final tally for Sunday was 28.

Progress is being made on fires in the region, with 10 declared “out” as of yesterday.

Most of the new fires reported yesterday again were located in the far northern sectors of Red Lake District.

Over the last five days, the MNR’s Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program has been extremely busy responding to 183 fires, including 113 in the Northwest Region and 70 in the Northeast Region.

Ongoing fires in the north continue to be a priority and resources from the south currently are being shifted there to provide additional support.

Recent rainfall brought some relief to south and central areas of the region. But with minimal rain in the north, the forest fire hazard of “moderate-high” persists.

The weather forecast, however, is calling for a return to nicer weather, and this is expected to result in a rapid recovery of forest fire hazards to “moderate” and “high” across the region by Thursday.

Sioux Lookout and Red Lake districts have the highest number of active fires, with 26 in Red Lake and 15 in Sioux Lookout at last count.

New fires yesterday may affect that total.

Thunder Bay District has nine fires—all of them within the boundaries of Wabakimi Provincial Park.

They are being managed as a complex of fires by Thunder Bay Fire Management Headquarters staff.

Nipigon District also is dealing with nine fires.

In related news, a restricted fire zone currently is in effect in the Northeast Region in areas north of the French River, including French River Provincial Park.

The RFZ includes the MNR districts of Sudbury, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Hearst, Chapleau, Wawa, Cochrane, and Manitoulin Island.

No open burning, including campfires, is permitted within the boundaries of a RFZ.

Portable heaters or propane stoves may be used for cooking and warmth, but must be handled with extreme caution.

All burning permits are suspended.

For more information, call the RFZ hotline at 1-866-357-8422.

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