Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect despite recent precipitation
The Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) previously in place for the entire Fire Region of Ontario is no longer in effect.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Aviation Forest Fire, and Emergency Services announced that the RFZ was lifted, effective Tuesday, July 11, at 4 p.m. local time.
Tim Brody - Editor
Despite recent rainfall, as of the evening of July 9, there were 61 active fires in the Northwest Region according the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Aviation, Forest Fire, and Emergency Servcies (AFFES).
“7 of these fires are not under control, 8 fires are being held, 7 fires are under control and 39 fires are being observed,” AFFES noted in their report.
AFFES shared that Northwest Fires of Note, as of the evening of July 9, included:
- Sioux Lookout 33 is located on the western edge of Wabakimi Provincial Park. The fire remains 60,394 hectares in size and is not under control. Values protection is ongoing. Helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support, helping to limit the fire’s spread.
- Sioux Lookout 44 is located on the west side of Lake St. Joseph. The fire remains 6,730 hectares in size and is not under control. Values protection is ongoing. Helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support, helping to limit the fire’s spread.
- Sioux Lookout 53 is located 3.5 kilometers east of the Bearskin Lake First Nation. The 334.2 hectare fire is currently being held. Excellent progress continues to be made.
- Nipigon 13 is located west of Ogoki Lake. The fire is now measuring 39,194 hectares and is not under control. Values assessment and protection is ongoing.
- Nipigon 19 is located northwest of Ogoki Lake. The fire is now measuring 10,182 hectares is not under control. Crews continue to establish hose lines and helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support.
- Red Lake 28 is located 40 kilometers north of Lac Seul First Nation. The fire remains 19,177 hectares in size and is not under control. Crews continue to establish hose lines helicopter bucketing operations continue to provide support.
AFFES shared in their July 9 evening report that despite recent precipitation throughout parts of Ontario, “Forest fuels are still very dry and susceptible to holdover ignition from lightning and could result in more problematic fire behaviour. Because the amount of precipitation has not been great enough in some areas to lessen the subsurface fuel moisture content fire hazard, burning conditions can rebound quite quickly and as the drying trend continues, there is more build up of forest fuel available to burn. Scattered precipitation is often accompanied by lightning which can strike a tree or other forest fuels and ignite a fire under the forest floor. Once the weather dries up, winds increase and temperatures rebound, holdover lightning fires from convective activity can appear up to about a week later.
“As such, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for the entire fire region of Ontario (Zones 1 to 36). The Restricted Fire Zone is in effect until further notice. Restricted Fire Zones help protect public safety. Open air burning, including campfires, is not permitted within the boundaries of a Restricted Fire Zone. Portable gas or propane stoves may be used for cooking and warmth BUT must be handled with extreme caution. All burning permits are suspended.”