Parry Sound 33 forest fire surpasses 10,000 hectares
More forest fires have been discovered in northern Ontario, bringing the total number of fires burning in the province past 150 even as some existing fires were extinguished.
Nine new fires were discovered in the province’s northwest and four others in the northeast on Monday, Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said.
The new fires are all quite small, and are considered relatively low priorities compared to the much larger wildfires which have brought crews from around North America to Ontario.
Fires in northeastern Ontario have been getting significant attention. Of particular concern is Parry Sound 33, which had grown by Tuesday to more than 10,000 hectares and was said to be five kilometres away from the Highway 69 portion of the TransCanada Highway. Smoke and flames from Parry Sound 33 were expected to push closer to the highway on Tuesday.
The nearby Henvey Inlet First Nation has been evacuated due to the fire. Sprinklers have been placed on the reserve’s buildings to protect them from the flames.
About 120 Henvey Inlet residents, including Kyla McQuabbie, are being put up in a hotel in Sudbury, Ont.
“The smoke was terrible. It just filled the air. It was really, really smoky and hard to breathe at times,” McQuabbie told CTV News Channel.
McQuabbie said the last word she had been given was that Henley Inlet residents would be able to return home on Friday, but the fire’s continuing growth may force a change to those plans.
An evacuation alert was issued Monday night for the community of Alban, covering approximately 1,000 people.
Fifteen of the 41 fires in northeastern Ontario are considered to be out of control.
That number includes the Lady Evelyn fire, which encompasses more than 27,000 hectares of land about 30 kilometres west of Temiskaming Shores, Ont.
In northwestern Ontario, the MNRF said, 31 of the 104 wildfires were not under control as of Monday night. Included in that count is Nipigon 30, the largest active fire in the province, which is consuming nearly 33,000 hectares of land near Winisk River Provincial Park.
There have been 888 forest fires reported in Ontario thus far this year. The province’s 10-year average at this point of the year is 517.