MNR News Release
The hot and dry weather has created extreme fire behaviour in Northeastern Ontario. There is no immediate relief in sight as the weather pattern is expected to continue into the weekend.
MNR, EMO, OPP and communities are working together to ensure people are in safe places and to protect property, infrastructure and other values. MNR is mobilizing helicopters, water bombers and ground crews to resource the fires.
Residents in the area are on alert as the decision to evacuate can be made very quickly. MNR will continually evaluate the fire situation and smoke hazard throughout the day. To date, approximately 450 people have been evacuated in the Kirkland Lake and Timmins area. 150 people from Mattagami First Nation evacuated yesterday evening with 118 people going to Kapuskasing.
A fire presents its own challenges locally and people are reminded to check with local MNR officials for an updated account of fire activity and related safety issues on fires of concern.
Thus far today, there have been 10 new fires in the Northeast Region. There are currently 45 active fires in the region, burning a total of 39310.3 hectares. The following is an update on the larger fires in the area.
Timmins 9, north of Gogama is currently mapped at 31660 has in size. The fire exhibited extreme behaviour due to high winds yesterday and overnight. Strong winds continued to gust early this afternoon. Some cloud cover and showers this morning did aid in slowing the spread of the fire. No evacuations have been declared today, however, all evacuation notices remain in place. The City of Timmins has set up an Information Centre in the McIntyre Arena in Schumacher. It is open to the public to access current information. The City of Timmins, MNR, Emergency Management Ontario, OPP, Timmins Police, and Timmins Fire are coordinating media conferences twice a day at 10 am and 2 pm. Smoke and ash will affect the City of Timmins and surrounding areas. Values protection continues on the fire by FireRanger crews, and over 500 sprinklers have been installed on values. Fire crews continue to arrive on this fire daily to assist with efforts. An MNR incident management team is also on-site. The safety of the public and our crews is our top priority. The municipality of Timmins has declared a state of emergency. Smoke alerts are issued throughout the area. Elderly persons and people affected by asthma or respiratory illnesses should take necessary precautions.
Kirkland Lake 8 is currently 2635.0 hectares in size. The town of Kirkland Lake is currently experiencing heavy smoke from fire TIM 9. Crews continue to check on values protection already in place. The Municipality has closed Goldthorpe road, Goodfish road and restricted access to both areas. An Implementation order was approved on May 21st for a MNR District emergency area order. Evacuations that were previously in place remain at this time. The municipality has made arrangements for evacuees to stay at the Kirkland Lake Royal Canadian Legion, while some evacuees are making arrangements with family or friends. The town of Kirkland Lake has been running radio ads with fire information and town evacuation updates.
Kirkland Lake 11 is currently 58 has in size. 7 FireRanger crews, as well as air attack responded to this fire.
Kirkland Lake 13 is currently 400 has in size. The fire is 5km south west of highway 65. People have been evacuated from Golden Eagle camp, and values protection is occurring tonight. Heavy equipment is also working on the fire. Air attack and heavy equipment worked on the fire today.
**For information regarding evacuation and road closures in the Kirkland Lake area, please call the Kirkland Lake Municipal Office at 705-567-9365 ext. 221.
For highway closure information, please call 511 or 1-800-268-4686.
To date, there have been 202 fires in the Northeast Region, having burnt 39698 has.
Evacuation/road closures, Kirkland Lake Municipal Office 705-567-9365 X221
Smoke and health related questions: Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000
MTO Highway Closure Number: 1-800-268-4686, option 2 or dial 511
For Timmins District Fire information: (705) 235-1372