Two campers fined $7,000 for starting forest fire near Kenora

Forest fire

Two Winnipeg campers are facing big fines after starting a fire in a restricted zone.

The two men were canoeing through the Kenora, Ontario, region last May before they stopped to set up camp on a small island on Bain Lake.

According to a release issued by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the island was part of a restricted fire zone, so when the men built a campfire it didn’t take long for it to spread across the island.

The ministry’s fire rangers managed to extinguish the blaze with the help of air suppression efforts, but only after the fire had burned through most of the island.

The two men plead guilty in court in January and they now face multiple fines. They were ordered to pay $500 each for starting a fire in a restricted zone without a permit, and $3,000 each in restitution costs.

But they were hardly the only ones who ignored fire bans in the province last summer. Despite the wildfires ripping through northwestern Ontario, conservation officers caught and fined a number of people they found having campfires or bonfires in restricted areas.

According to Natural Resources Canada, wildfires consume an average of 2.3 million hectares of the country each year, and human carelessness or accidents cause more than half of those fires.