Northwest Region Hot summer weather increases forest fire hazard
The return of hot summer weather with temperatures forecast in the 30 C range today, Friday July 13 and going into the weekend will likely result in the return of a high to extreme forest fire hazard rating for much of the Northwest region.
As of Wednesday, July 11, the fire hazard ranged from low to moderate in the southern portion of the region to high across the north shore and extreme in the far north areas of Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Nipigon districts.
A weather system passing through the Kenora area overnight Tuesday brought some rain and cooler temperatures before dissipating by early Wednesday afternoon.
At that time, fire information officers at Aviation and Forest Fire Emergency Services in Dryden reported 53 active fires in the Northwest region of which five were designated as out of control and the remaining 48 as either under control, being held or under observation.
Fires in the far north near Nibinamik (Summer Beaver) continue to grow. Crews on Nipigon Fire #29 have been working the western flank of the 1,800 hectare fire – 10 kilometres south of the remote First Nation – in an effort to limit the fire’s spread in the direction of the community.
Nearby to the northeast, the much larger Nipigon Fire #30 has expanded to over 10,000 hectares. Aerial ignition will be used on both Nipigon Fires #29 and #30 to bring the fires to natural boundaries.
Earlier this week, lightning activity gave rise to four new forest fires, all in the Sioux Lookout District of the Northwest Region by the afternoon of July 10:
• Sioux Lookout Fire #58 is
part of a cluster of small lightning fires south of Windigo Lake. The fire is under observation at three hectares in size;
• Sioux Lookout Fire #59,
a lightning caused fire on an island on Miniss Lake, within the boundaries of St. Raphael Provincial Park.
Sioux Lookout Fire 60 is located near the Flindt River just west of the Wabakimi Provincial Park boundary. At 0.3 hectares it is currently not under control.
• Sioux Lookout Fire #61 is located 8.5 kilometres south of the remote First Nation Community of Wunnummin Lake. An airtanker and helicopter were deployed to assist FireRangers on the ground to limit the spread of the one hectare fire.
AFFES personnel from the Northwest, including 30 (fourperson) FireRanger crews, 28 overhead staff, one logistics team, nine CL-415 waterbombers and two heavy helicopters have joined a large inter-provincial contingent of staff, aircraft and equipment helping the Northeast Region cope with a challenging forest fire situation.
A flight of AT-802 Fire Boss aircraft from Alberta make a pit stop at Dryden Fire Management Headquarters, July 10, enroute to assist the Northeast Region with a challenging forest fire situation.