Updated July 26, 2018
Fires raging in northeastern Ontario have been cut back, but will continue to burn out of control despite the efforts of firefighters from across the country and volunteers from Mexico.
One of the largest of those fires, dubbed Parry Sound 33, has consumed roughly 5,612 hectares of land according to the Ministry and Natural Resources and Forestry.
Recently, weather has turned favourable for fighting the fires, but those conditions are not slated to last.
“We continue to make progress. Recent precipitation and cloud cover in the area has aided our efforts, but this will not have a long term effect. When the clear weather returns, fire activity will pick up,” Shayne McCool, fire information officer for the ministry, says.
As of July 23rd, there are 55 active fires in the region around French River Provincial Park, 34 are under control and 21 are still out of control.
Mandatory evacuation notices have been posted for cottagers and residents with boat access only in all areas ranging from the western and northern borders of French River Provincial Park, east to Highway 69, and as far south as the south shore of the Key River, according to the MNRF. Evacuation alerts have been set for those with road access.
There have been reports of property damage, but details are still unclear. “We have confirmed that there is some loss of structure, but are unable to provide specifics. Our focus remains on fighting the fires,” McCool says.
If you’re a cottager or resident in the area, McCool says to stay clear of water bombers. “If you see a water bomber coming towards a body of water that you are boating on, pull off to the shore,” McCool says. If boaters do not move out of the way, the bomber has to use another body of water which slows relief efforts.
North Bay 111 is a new #ForestFire located east of Latchford. It was confirmed late this afternoon and required aerial fire suppression assistance from our neighbours to the east. A CL415 waterbomber from Quebec assisted Aviation, Forest #Fire and Emergency Services. @SOPFEU pic.twitter.com/LhHNdoC7rE
— ONForestFires (@ONforestfires) July 20, 2018
With the forecast expected to return to usual summer heat, the fire is expected to pick up pace. There is no set time for cottagers and residents to return.