Featured Posts — 10 August 2011

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources FireRanger Warren Okanski is pictured during efforts to save four camps from Red Fire 124, a 11,272 hectare lightning-caused blaze burning 40 kilometres northwest of Red Lake. MNR crews use sprinkler system on structures to protect them from fires. The OMNR reported progress on fires this past week, hoping for precipitation early this week to play a key role in the suppression effort. At the moment over 2,000 people are engaged in the forest fire effort in the region, 500 of them from out-of-province. Photo courtesy Ministry of Natural Resources/Mitch Miller

It was another challenging week on the forest fire front as over 2,000 personnel worked to suppress large scale fires in the region.

Despite Monday’s rains, the Ministry of Natural Resources expects a warm, clear week ahead to challenge efforts across the province.

Current Situation (As of Aug. 9)

There were 20 new fires in the Northwest region Reported on August 7. New fires were reported in Kenora(4), Dryden(6), Sioux Lookout(4), Thunder Bay(5), Greenstone(5), Fort Frances(1) districts. So far for August 8 there have been four new fires, one in Red Lake district and three in Nipigon district. The majority of these were small lightning caused fires, with the anticipation of all suppression efforts being successful. Rain and cloud cover across the region will also assist with firefighting 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.

Red Lake District

Near Red Lake Alberta Incident Management Team FireRangers worked hard last week saving camps threatened by Red Lake Fire 124.

Lightning caused and 11,272 hectares in size, this fire is located in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, more than 40 kilometres northwest of Red Lake. The fire was very active Aug. 7. Fire crews continue to maintain sprinklers on values. Reconnaissance missions are ongoing to ensure canoeists aren’t paddling into the area, to inform anglers of the fire and to remind them of the fire hazard. Monday’s showers that occurred will have lowered the fire behaviour.

Also in the Red Lake district, Red Fire 84 is still classed as not under control and has burned a total of 42,765 hectares. The fire is located about 50 kilometres northeast of Ear Falls.

Be safe in fire areas

Residents and visitors are reminded to stay away from areas where waterbombers are working. People need to stay out of the drop zone when bombers are dropping water and out of the pick up zone when they are landing on lakes to pick up water. Travel restrictions remain on the Musselwhite Mine Road in the Sioux Lookout District, and portions of the Pipestone River Park remain closed to travel without a permit under an Emergency Area Order over Sioux Lookout Fires 60 and 70. Information is available through the Forest Fire Information Hotline: 1-888-258-8842.



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About Author

Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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