Northwestern Ontario has been faced with the task of fighting over 60 forest fires across the region. Thunder and lightning storms recently have caused more fires to start. The fires are the result of a hot and dry summer as of late and little precipitation in the area.
Most recently the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has extended the Restricted Fire Zone that was issued on June 30, 2021, to Thunder Bay and portions of the Nipigon and Wawa districts.
Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry Greg Rickford spoke with the Q Morning Show yesterday regarding the forest fires across the region.
“It's so dry out there and we've got a number of fires out here in Northwestern Ontario, I have been a little bit busy making some arrangements,” said Rickford
The Red Lake 65 fire southwest of the Poplar Hill First Nation has forced members to evacuated. The fire is labeled as not under control at 4,012 hectares and crews are setting up sprinklers on structures in the vicinity of the fire. The City of Thunder Bay will be hosting 800 community members from the First Nation.
Another notable forest fire in the area is the 27, 549 hectares Red Lake 51 fire. This fire has forced a stage one evacuation order. The City of Thunder Bay has agreed to host 101 of the evacuees and the other approximately 350 members will be evacuated to other communities across the province.
Rickford added that he has spoken with the Mayor of Red Lake and the Red Lake 77 fire has approached the community of Madsen. An evacuation plan is being created in the event residents have to be evacuated.