Forest fire season is in full swing, and the MNR says as of Friday afternoon, there are currently 15 active fires in the northeast region
In and around the North Bay district there are two active fires, both were confirmed late yesterday afternoon:
North Bay 3 is a 30-hectare fire located 8 kilometres southeast of Powassan. Three CL415 waterbombers, a belly tanking helicopter as well as a lead birddog aircraft were on site yesterday and they helped to significantly reduce the amount of smoke and flames as this fire was burning at high intensity.
Also on the scene yesterday were local fire departments from Chisholm, Powassan, and Nipissing. As of this afternoon, four FireRanger crews are making good progress with fire suppression efforts, while municipal fire crews have been released.
Parry Sound 5 is located approximately 12 kilometres south of North Bay fire number 3, it measures 5 hectares and is west of Music Lake. It is not yet under control at this time.
"We’ve been experiencing warm and dry conditions and some elevated wind speeds, which combined with the dry forest fuels ahead of the spring green-up, have increased the fire hazard in the Northeast Region," says Isabelle Chenard, Media Relations Specialist
"We continue to expect warm days over the weekend, with humidex values climbing which will make it important for fire crews to stay hydrated while working on the landscape. There is a possibility of thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon, with slightly higher winds, and precipitation values are expected to be isolated in nature in the central portion of the region."
While there is no restricted fire zone imposed at this time by the Ministry, some municipalities may have local fire bans in place so it is best to verify this information with Municipal officials prior to lighting a fire.
Chisholm enacted a complete ban on all open-air burning, including campfires effective immediately. The current fire rating is listed as "high."
"If you reside in an unorganized territory, these fire bans are imposed under the authority of the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario, and the best place to look for active unorganized territory fire bans is by contacting your local volunteer fire department," suggests Chenard.
"We are focused on responding promptly to newly confirmed wildland fires on the landscape and reminding the public that there is no daytime burning of yard debris during the fire season, consistent with the Forest Fire Prevention Act of Ontario. Fires are to be started no sooner than two hours before sunset, and must be extinguished at the latest two hours after sunrise.
"We recommend using alternative methods to disposing of woody yard debris and leaf litter, such as composting or using your local landfill. If you must burn, ensure that you are waiting for the coolest time of day, consistent with Outdoor Burning Regulations, and always have the tools at hand to keep your fire under control. Always supervise any outdoor fire and ensure it is out and cool to the touch before leaving the area."
To report a fire:
If you encounter smoke or flames in a wildland area, take note of how to report it. If the fire is located south of the Mattawa and French Rivers, please dial 911 to report a forest fire. If the fire is located north of these rivers, you can report it by dialing 310-FIRE.