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Lightning sparks rash of new fires

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Lightning caused most of the 36 new fires in the province Friday, including five reported in Fort Frances District, nine in Kenora District, and three in Dryden District.

As of this morning, only one of those five new fires in the Fort Frances District continued to burn “under control” at 0.8 hectares in size just west of Mine Centre.

Three other blazes, first reported late last month, continue to burn under observation in Quetico Provincial Park.

There is a total of 120 active fires in the West Fire region, including four here in Fort Frances District, six in Dryden District, and six in Kenora District.

Progress continues on fires near communities in the far north, with more than 2,000 fire personnel and over 100 aircraft continuing to work on these blazes.

Firefighting resources from out-of-province continue to assist Ontario’s efforts.

The MNR remains actively engaged in community protection and firefighter safety, as well as forest fire suppression and values protection efforts.

There is at least another three or four weeks of work ahead to ensure the existing large fires are put “out.”

Rain was forecast to come into the northwest region today, which will help reduce the number of new fires as well as dampen existing ones.

Meanwhile, potential smoky conditions continues to be a concern in far north communities.

Smoke from Red Lake Fire #124 was expected to drift into the communities of Red Lake and Pikangikum.

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