Just in time for the Labour Day long weekend, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has lifted the Restricted Fire Zone that had been in place in parts of the Northwest Region.
The municipal fire bans for the Town of Fort Frances, as well as the townships of Alberton, La Vallee, Emo, and Chapple, also have been lifted.
Outdoor fires are permitted once again although they should be carefully managed, the MNRF cautioned.
Some tips from the MNRF to consider when choosing a site include:
- pick a site close to a water source and sheltered from the wind;
- build your fire on a rock surface or bare dirt;
- build your fire at least three metres away from logs, stumps, trees, and overhanging branches; and
- build your fire 15 metres away from buildings or tents.
Tips for preparing a site include:
- clear a space (about two metres wide) for the fire;
- remove pine needles, grass, leaves, and twigs;
- scrape the area right down to the soil; and
- ensure you have a pail of water and a shovel to control the fire.
Tips for building a campfire include:
- keep your fire small (it shouldn't be bigger than one metre high and one metre wide);
- small fires are safer, easier to control, and easier to put out; and
- a small fire also will keep cooking tools from blackening and let you get close enough to cook.
The MNRF also warns never to leave a campfire unattended.
If you start a campfire, you are responsible for tending it, ensuring it is kept under control, and putting it out.
Use the following steps to put your fire out:
- pour lots of water on the campfire;
- stir the ashes with a stick; and
- pour more water over top of it.
Repeat these three steps until the ashes don't hiss, everything looks wet, and no more smoke comes from the ashes.
Cooler temperatures and recent wet weather have reduced the region's fire load and the overall fire hazard.
Four new fires were confirmed in the Northwest Region by early yesterday evening, including two in Sioux Lookout District, one in Thunder Bay District, and one in Red Lake District.
There currently are 48 active fires in the region.
One of those fires was listed as “not under control," six were "under control," and the other 41 were "under observation.”
To report a fire, call 310-FIRE (3473).