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Parry Sound 33 forest fire now 5 km from Highway 69, almost 9,000 hectares in size

Alban residents put on evacuation alert Monday

The Parry Sound 33 forest fire is now only five kilometres west of Highway 69 and less than one kilometre from the Pickerel River. The fire is now 8,973 hectares in size. 

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

The Municipality of French River issued an evacuation alert for the Alban area yesterday, west of the high powered hydro lines on Highway 64. 

The northeast and east portions of the fire were the most active Monday and a few of these sections progressed eastward towards the CN Line. 

Crews have been working hard to slow the fire’s progression in this part of the fire. 

Structural protection continues. Structures along the Pickerel and Key Rivers have had sprinklers set up on them Monday as well as structures along the French River on Hartley Bay Road. 

Crews worked on the southeast portion to hold the perimeter and complete hose line. 
Water bucketing and water bombers along the east flank continue as aerial suppression efforts seek to close in the fire. 

Even though the focus is on the northeast side, firefighters continue to suppress and monitor all portions of the fire. 

Aerial ignition on portions of the fire near Fox Island have brought the fire to natural boundaries removing the fire hazard in this area. 

The fire behaviour for Tuesday is expected to remain the same as Monday. High temperatures mixed with low humidity will be present on the fire site. 

Winds from the west/southwest will occur again into Tuesday, possibly bringing more smoke into surrounding communities and along Highway 69. 

Across the northeast, by the evening of July 30 there were 41 active forest fires. Of these, 15 are not yet under control, 26 are either being held, under control or being observed. 

There were four new fires confirmed in the region Monday: 

  • Timmins 14 – west of Tatachikapika River Plain – is already under control at 0.3 hectares. 
  • Sudbury 93 is located north of Mud Lake and is not yet under control at 0.1 hectares. 
  • Sudbury 94 is located southwest of Otter Lake and is not yet under control at 0.3 hectares. 
  • Sudbury 95 is located southwest of Wahnapitae and is not yet under control at 0.2 hectares.

Lady Evelyn Fire Cluster

  • North Bay 72 is not under control. The fire is approx. 27,275 hectares. There were a few smokes and hot spots observed Monday. 
  • Infrared scanning continues to happen when weather conditions cooperate. 
  • Multiple pieces of heavy equipment continue to build dozer guard along the fire’s edge.

Pembroke Fire Cluster

Crews continue to make good progress on all fires. Pembroke 5, Pembroke 7 and Algonquin Park 11 are being held. Pembroke 6 is not yet under control.

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 609 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. 
  • 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. 
If you have questions or concerns about smoke and your health, please contact Tele Health Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Travel restrictions 

Travel restrictions in the Parry Sound and Sudbury districts have been expanded in the vicinity of the Parry Sound 33 fire. Travel restrictions also remain in place for parts of North Bay, Kirkland Lake, Sudbury and Pembroke and districts due to forest fires. 

Restricted fire zones

  • Restricted fire zone expanded to additional parts of the Northeast fire region (southern region)
  • Due to the extreme fire hazard, several recent periods of heavy lightning, little precipitation and increased forest fire activity, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has expanded the Restricted Fire Zone to include parts of the Southern Region of Ontario as outlined on the interactive map.  This expansion of the current Restricted Fire Zone will be in effect as of 12:01 a.m. on July 24, and will remain in place until further notice.  
  • The expanded Restricted Fire Zone now includes Zones 24, 25, and 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, and 26 and restrictions will remain in place until further notice.  See the fire map for an outline of the zones covered. 
  • 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 OMNRF expects the elevated forest fire hazard to continue into the foreseeable future.

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