By: The Working Forest Staff
DRYDEN — Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry firefighters are battling 69 active fires in Northwestern Ontario, including 19 that are not under control.
The total includes nine new fires discovered by late afternoon on Monday.
Among the new outbreaks, the largest was a 35-hectare blaze near Sharpstone Lake, about 140 km northwest of Red Lake.
An MNRF report highlighted the status of several fires of note.
These include Red Lake # 65, which has burned over 4,000 hectares about 16 km southwest of Poplar Hill First Nation.
The ministry said the fire is exhibiting extreme fire behaviour.
Crews are setting up sprinklers on structures in the vicinity.
Residents of Poplar Hill have been flown to Thunder Bay for safety.
Red Lake # 51, 27 km west of Deer Lake First Nation, is being observed at 36,000 hectares.
Crews are setting up sprinklers in the area to protect structures.
Residents of Deer Lake have been taken to Thunder Bay, and a number of residents of Pikangikum have also reportedly left their community as a precaution.
Sprinklers are being set up on structures in the vicinity Red Lake # 68, about 55 km northeast of Red Lake. It has burned over 6,800 hectares.
Red Lake # 77, approximately 40 km west of Red Lake, has burned 6,900 hectares. Sprinklers are being set up in that area as well.
Kenora # 58, northwest of Kenora near the Manitoba border, has burned over 58,000 hectares to date,
The MNRF said the fire has been active for several days, producing smoke at the local level.
Twenty crews and 13 helicopters are assigned to the fire.
A Restricted Fire Zone remains in effect across most of Northwestern Ontario.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation has asked Ontario to declare a state of emergency.