Algonquin Park forest fire remains 'out of control'
Published Friday, August 12, 2016 2:43PM EDT Last Updated Friday, August 12, 2016 3:51PM EDT
Firefighters in Algonquin Park deployed water bombers for a second day on Friday, to battle an out-of-control blaze that forced the evacuation of several campsites.
Fire Information Officer Shayne McCool says early morning rainfall aided the efforts of the six crews working to contain the blaze, but “quite a bit of hard work” remains before the situation at the provincial park in Central Ontario is under control.
“We did receive confirmation this morning that folks were out of the area,” he told CTV Toronto. “Conditions were very dry, and it allow for easier fire spread. That said, with the rain we received this morning, we are seeing a low hazard today now. That will allow us to make some good progress on this fire.”
Twelve campsites were evacuated by park officials as fire crews formed a hose line perimeter to impede the fire’s progress.
The fire was first discovered Tuesday and has since grown to span 30 hectares near High Falls Lake in the east end of the park, according to officials.
Fire crews are also battling a second smaller fire in Algonquin Park. McCool says that 0.1 hectare blaze is still active, but under control.
Algonquin Park was under extreme fire hazard conditions until this morning’s rain. McCool says fires in under such conditions are typically small and easy to contain, but fires of 30 hectares are not uncommon.
Park officials are warning people to stay away from the High Falls Lake area. Those out on the water are asked to head to shore if water bombers are seen overhead.
“Our water bombers will perform scoops out of lakes and they won’t be able to do so if there are boats impeding their progress. They will in some instances be forced to go further away to scoop water for the suppression of the fire,” said McCool.
“There will be plenty of opportunities for photos from the shore line.”