It was a busy weekend for firefighters with the Aviation, Emergency Services and Forest Fires branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and it’s not expected to slow down any time soon.

Firefighters responded to 6 new forest fires in the region over the weekend, and with hot and dry conditions in this week’s forecast, more fires are expected to spark soon. There are currently 18 forest fires burning in the region.

Red Lake Fire 38, discovered June 16 to the south east of North Spirit Lake, has grown to 280 hectares in size as it moves away from the community. An air attack package of a bird dog aircraft and two CL-415 waterbombers have been assigned to the fire. The lightning-caused fire is currently not under control.

Red Lake Fire number 37 is 0.5 hectares in size and located near the boundary of Weeskayjahk Ohtahzhoganeeng Provincial Park. The fire is not under control.

Kenora Fire 56, near the Township of Minaki has been declared out at 0.1 hectares.

Sioux Lookout Fire 18 is a one hectare, lightning-caused fire in the far north, approximately 20 kilometres north west of Bearskin Lake. The fire is currently being observed.

Red Lake Fire 39 is located approximately nine kilometres southeast of the First Nation community of Pikangikum.  The 0.2 hectare fire is currently not under control.

Several lightning-caused fires also emerged in the evening hours of June 16 in the Far North of the Sioux Lookout District where burning conditions are high.

Sioux Lookout Fire 19 has claimed 100 hectares at a remote location south of Sachigo Lake. Thirteen kilometres to the south of that fire, Sioux Lookout Fire 20 has grown to six hectares. Both fires are under observation.

The current fire hazard is low in parts of the Fort Frances, Dryden, Thunder Bay and Nipigon Districts. A band of moderate hazard extends from the Kenora district moving northeast through the middle of the region. Red Lake District and the far north portions of the Sioux Lookout and Nipigon Districts show a high to extreme hazard at this time.