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Efforts to contain forest fire going well in some parts

Crews seemed to have made some progress in containing the forest fires
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Efforts to contain forest fire going well in some areas. (Supplied)

The Parry sound 33 forest fire continues to dominate seven kilometres west of highway 69 and three kilometres south of the Pickerel River.

This is according to an update issued by  province's Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services division.

Water bombers and helicopters worked yesterday to limit movement among most areas of the fire perimeter, with generally good results. The northeast side of the fire remains a priority with fingers extending toward the CN rail line.

As of last night, the update noted the Parry Sound 33 Forest Fire to be 7651 hectares in size.

Southwest winds are expected to continue to cause heavy smoke conditions periodically into surrounding communities and along highway 69.

According to the update there were 39 active forest fires across the northeast. Of these, 12 are not yet under control, 27 are either being held, under control or being observed.

There were no new fires noted in the regions.

Travel restrictions are in place for parts of North Bay, Kirkland Lake, Sudbury, Pembroke and Parry Sound districts due to forest fires.

In addition to the travel restrictions, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has expanded the Restricted Fire Zone to include parts of the Southern Region of Ontario.  

The expanded Restricted Fire Zone now includes Zones 24, 25, & 26 which would include areas south of the French River, including Parry Sound, from Georgian Bay east to the Quebec border, including Algonquin Provincial Park and from Renfrew north to Mattawa.

To date, the current MNRF Restricted Fire Zone covers Zones 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, & 26 and restrictions will remain in place until further notice.  

During a Restricted Fire Zone, the use of open fires – such as campfires, or burning of brush or debris is restricted. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire.

Portable gas or propane stoves are permitted for use for cooking or warmth, though they should be closely monitored. Portable charcoal BBQs and Hibachis are not permitted unless within 100 metres of a dwelling, or within an organized campground.

Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to enjoy campfires during a Restricted Fire Zone period provided they meet certain conditions in the Outdoor Fires Regulation (207/96).

The Restricted Fire Zone is a temporary measure to reduce the number of new human-caused wildfires as the Aviation Forest Fire and Emergency Services branch of the MNRF expects the elevated forest fire hazard to continue into the foreseeable future.

River Valley Fire Cluster

Crews made solid progress on all fires today. North Bay 62 was deemed under control this morning. On North Bay 42, crews worked on the north side today and made good progress. NOR 025 is also under control.

Lady Evelyn Fire Cluster

North Bay Fire 072 remains at 27,579 hectares and is listed as not under control. A little bit of smoke was observed on the fire later in the afternoon and we anticipate that will increase over the next few days as the weather returns to seasonal values with temperatures reaching the mid to high 20s. There are 11 helicopters assigned to this cluster.

Pembroke Fire Cluster

Good progress continues to be made on all fires in this cluster. Pembroke 5 continues to exhibit minimal fire activity. Since yesterday this fire is being held at 37.5 hectares. Pembroke 6 showed very little growth today. Crews are now fully established on the south, west and east flanks of this fire. Crews are still working to contain the 697 hectares fire.  Being held at 72.5 hectares, crews on Pembroke 7 are working toward the centre of this fire expanding the control line. With excellent progress being made in difficult terrain, Algonquin Park 11 was upgraded to being held earlier today. It’s listed at 34.2 hectares

Resources From Out of Province

Ontario is receiving support from across Canada, the United States and Mexico to assist with the fire situation. A total of 556 firefighters and support staff are currently in the province.

Alberta is providing personnel, equipment and aircraft.

British Columbia is providing personnel and equipment.

Newfoundland is providing personnel and equipment.

Northwest Territories is providing personnel, equipment and aircraft.

Nova Scotia is providing personnel and equipment.

Saskatchewan is providing personnel and aircraft.

Minnesota, USA, is providing personnel.

Wisconsin, USA, is providing personnel.

Mexico is providing personnel.

Parks Canada is providing two ignition specialists.

Additional personnel and equipment are expected to arrive in the province in the coming days.

Smoke concerns

Smoke from large fires across the region will be visible until fire activity is reduced and weather patterns change.

AFFES is reminding the public that if they do see flames or smoke, please report it, and stay away from the area in the interest of public safety.