High temperatures, little precipitation, and many thunderstorms have caused many multiple large forest fires across Northwestern Ontario.

The extreme fire hazard and increased forest fire activity, have led the ministry to issue an Emergency Area Order across Northwestern Ontario. This order is in effect to allow the ministry to take special measures to ensure the safety of people and the protection of critical property.

The Restricted Fire Zone is still in effect for the Northwest and the ministry asks residents to avoid having outdoor fires, which includes burning of grass, debris, and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace, or fire pit. These restrictions are in place to reduce the number of preventable human-caused fires and lower the risk of wildfires impacting the public. Portable gas stoves may still be used BUT must be handled with extreme care.

In a media release today, Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry commented on the Emergency Area Order.

“I am monitoring the situation closely and my ministry is doing everything it can to protect communities and property in the area. Public safety is our first priority, and we will continue to provide all support necessary to protect the health and well-being of those impacted by wildfires,” said Rickford

As of yesterday, Aviation, Forest Fire, and Emergency Services of the Northwest Fire Region reported 79 active fires in the region. Thirty fires are not under control, three fires are being held, twenty-nine are being observed and seventeen fires are under control.

Eighteen new fires were confirmed in the northwest region by late afternoon yesterday.

Please visit ontario.ca/page/forest-fires to see maps and additional information.