Long running Restricted Fire Zone lifted
Tim Brody - Editor
A Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) which had been in place since early June was lifted on July 11 at 4 p.m. local time.
Due to the extreme forest fire hazard at the time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) had declared a Restricted Fire Zone effective Thursday June 1 at 12:01 am local time for the Districts of Kenora, Red Lake/Sioux Lookout, Dryden/Fort Frances/Atikokan, Thunder Bay/Ignace, the northwest portion of the Far North, and portions of Nipigon/Geraldton District.
The MNRF expanded the RFZ to encompass the entire fire region of Ontario (Zones 1 to 36) on June 9.
The MNRF shared after lifting the RFZ, “The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry would like to thank Ontarians and visitors for doing their part to help prevent forest fires and keep communities safe. Please continue to use extreme caution and follow Ontario’s Outdoor Fires Regulations when having an outdoor fire.
“Restricted Fire Zone decisions consider a number of factors including daily weather and fire conditions, as well as forecasted weather trends over longer periods of time and potential drying conditions and precipitation. We also consider the number of wildland fires that are burning, and the number of resources required to manage both current and potential wildland fires.
“Lifting the RFZ does not mean we can let our guard down when it comes to preventing human-caused fires. We all need to remain vigilant and keep safety top of mind when having outdoor fires.”
The MNRF’s Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services (AFFES) provided the following update on “Northwest Fires of Note” in their July 16 evening report:
Sioux Lookout 33 is located on the western edge of Wabakimi Provincial Park and is 60,394 hectares in size and not under control. Crews continue to establish hose lines helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support.
Sioux Lookout 44 is located on the west side of Lake St. Joseph and is 6,730 hectares in size and not under control. Helicopter bucketing operations continue to work priority areas on the fire.
Nipigon 19 is located northwest of Ogoki Lake and is 10,182 hectares in size and not under control. Crews continue to establish hose lines making good progress working alongside helicopter bucket machines to help limit the fires spread.
Red Lake 28 is located 40 kilometers North of Lac Seul First Nation and is 19,177 hectares in size and not under control. Crews continue to establish hose lines helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support.
As of their July 16 evening report, AFFES reported that there are 41 active fires in the Northwest Region. Of those fires, nine are not under control, one fire is being held, two fires are under control and 29 fires are being observed.
AFFES noted that the wildland fire hazard in the Northwest Region is mainly low with areas of moderate hazard in the Thunder Bay and Nipigon sectors.