Ontario reports 93 active fires in west of province, mostly lightning-caused; expects moderate to high fire activity as wind speeds increase to 15-30km/hr

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario , August 23, 2011 (press release) – 10 news fires were reported on August 21st, bringing the total number of active fires in the province to 93. The majority of these fires were lightning caused and are burning in the west region.

Fire activity will be moderate to high as wind speeds increase to 15-30 km/hr with the passage of another cold front. Small areas of the far northwest will be affected by lightning strikes today; however the rest of the province will experience clear, sunny skies with cloud cover moving in the late afternoon.

Ontario appreciates the support of resources from other parts of Canada. Assistance, in the form of fire fighters, equipment and aircraft has come from the United States, several provinces and Parks Canada. Crews from British Colombia and Alberta will be heading home today. Ontario is receiving six crews from Minnesota today. No further resource moves are expected in the coming days.

Ontario has arranged for Manitoba and Quebec to be available for quick strike water bombing if help is needed over the next several days. Essentially, quick strike is when another province’s water bomber drops water on Ontario fires near the provincial border and then returns to their home base.

Northeast Region

One new fire was reported on Sunday, August 21. Sudbury 79 is not under control at 0.3 hectares and is located northeast of the Sudbury Airport. No issues are anticipated with this fire.

There will be scattered cloud cover with isolated showers under the cloud decks. Regions not under the cloud cover will remain dry. Temperature will be in the high teens with light winds.

The fire hazard is moderate, with the exception of the far south which drops to a low hazard.

Northwest Region

There were four new fires by the afternoon of August 22 in the Northwest Region and nine new fires reported by day's end on August 21. Firefighters made good progress on the forest fires over the past weekend due to rainfall, but as the week begins the forecast is calling for sunny, drier and windier conditions which is expected to cause the active fires to flare up. The public is urged to remain vigilant with any outdoor fires in light of the recent rainfall.

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