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MNR keeping busy with floods, fires

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Hazy conditions and rising fire hazards coupled with flood assistance in parts of the region, as well as a scheduled rotation of fire personnel to and from British Columbia marked the variety of activities involving the fire management program yesterday.

Light rains were reported in the northern portions of Sioux Lookout District, and FireRanger crews in the Red Lake District are providing assistance with flood control.

Mainly sunny skies across the southern sectors of the West Fire Region, with above normal temperatures will keep the fire hazard “moderate” to “high” in the south and west, raising a concern of potential fires in the next day or two.

Cloud and rain are forecast to move across the region by the weekend including the possibility of thunderstorms and heavy rain.

There’s been no new fires in the past 24 hours, and there currently are no active fires in the entire province.

Today, a total of 170 fire personnel were to return to Ontario from British Columbia including FireRanger crews, support staff, agency representatives and an information officer.

Also today, 126 fire personnel were deployed to British Columbia from Ontario including FireRanger crews, agency representatives, a support staff person and an information officer.

Regionally, 61 personnel left out of Dryden this afternoon including 15 FireRanger crews and an agency representative.

Tomorrow, a 20-member incident management team and an agency representative are also scheduled to return to Ontario.

Meanwhile, hazy conditions in the West Fire Region have prompted calls to the forest fire reporting line with reports of seeing or smelling smoke.

Fire officials noted that the general haze that is occurring in the region is caused by an upper level zonal flow that is carrying smoke into Ontario from fires in the western provinces, particularly British Columbia.

While the general haze is not expected to worsen, being diluted by winds across long distances, there may be a heavier haze in the evening hours as the air cools and drops down.

It is during these times that the number of calls to the forest fire reporting line have increased. The hazy conditions are expected to remain in the West Fire Region for a few days.

People are asked to refrain from using the emergency forest fire reporting number for general questions about the hazy conditions.

However, they are encouraged to call the forest fire reporting line if they believe there is a fire nearby. The West Fire Region forest fire reporting number is 1-888-284-3473

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