The rain that fell in the Kenora area Monday brought little to no relief to the forest fire situation in the district.

Much of the region remains under a Restricted Fire Zone at this time, including the Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden, and Thunder Bay Districts and portions of the Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, Nipigon, and Wawa Districts as the forest fire hazard in the district remains high to extreme.

Kent Readman, Kenora's Fire Chief, reminds residents that there is no burning allowed in the area.

"Even though we did receive some rain last night, it's still extremely dry out there so we're still in a Restricted Fire Zone. We still have a fire ban in the City of Kenora, so there's still absolutely no burning, no open flames," said Chief Readman.

The Kenora area only received 3.8 mm (.15 inch) of rain Monday night and there is no rain in the forecast through this weekend.

Since the beginning of the year, the Kenora area has only received about 50 per cent of the expected precipitation which has led to drought conditions and low lake and river levels.

"It's dry, the fires can spread really fast. There's a number of new fires every day and there has been for quite some time," added Chief Readman.

"The forest fires are getting bigger and there's more of them each day. So we're asking people to be extremely cautious out there with everything they're doing," stressed Chief Readman.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) says there are 69 active fires in the region. 19 fires are not under control, five fires are being held, 28 are being observed and 17 fires are under control.

The MNRF is currently battling five fires of note including;

Kenora 51

  • Fire is not under control at 58,595 hectares.
  • Crews are maintaining sprinklers on structures in the vicinity of the fire
  • Fire has been active over the past several days producing smoke at the local level
  • 20 crews and 13 helicopters are assigned to this fire.
  • An Incident Management Team is established on the fire.

Red Lake 65

  • Not under control at 4012 hectares
  • Located approximately 16 kilometres southwest of Poplar Hill First Nation
  • Crews are setting up sprinklers on structures in the vicinity of the fire.
  • This fire is exhibiting extreme fire behaviour
  • The Ministry of the Solicitor General is in the process of conducting an evacuation of Poplar Hill First Nation, as Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services continues to respond to fire Red Lake 65 southwest of the community.

Red Lake 51

Red Lake 68

  • Not under control at 6830 hectares
  • Located southeast of Pringle Lake, approximately 55 kilometres northeast of Red Lake.
  • 6 Crews are setting up sprinklers on structures in the vicinity of the fire

Red Lake 77

  • Not under control at 6900 hectares
  • Approximately 40 kilometres west of Red Lake
  • Crews are setting up sprinklers on structures in the vicinity of the fire.

Under a Restricted Fire Zone, most fires and burning are currently prohibited.

In most cases, this includes grass, debris, and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or fire pit. Portable gas stoves may still be used BUT must be handled with extreme care.