The Ministry of Natural Resources declared the Rainy River District, along with a large portion of Northwestern Ontario, a restricted fire zone (RFZ) as of 8 a.m. today.
“The RFZ means that all open fires are restricted,” MNR information officer Peter Wilkins explained this morning. “We do allow the use of gas and propane-powered stoves but even then, people should be cautious.”
The MNR Fire Management Centre in Dryden requested a RFZ be declared due to the “tinder dry” conditions and lack of rain in the West Fire Region.
The area affected by the fire ban extends from Lake Nipigon and the Nipigon River to the west Manitoba boundary. The zone extends north from the International border to the 11th baseline, north of Pickle Lake. The community of Armstrong is not included in the RFZ.
Signs will be posted in public places and along roadsides, and MNR staff will be notifying motorists as they enter Canada at the Fort Frances, Rainy River, and Pigeon River border crossings. Visitors to Canada will receive a pamphlet describing the RFZ and a map which illustrates the area of the fire ban.
“Anyone violating the fire ban could be fined up to $1,000,” warned Wilkins, urging people to obey the ban for the sake of safety and the environment. “We want people to be cautious with any fire. Be careful.”
The fire ban will remain in effect until further notice.