After three weeks of battling it from the air and ground, firefighters have succeeded in containing Parry Sound 33, the largest forest fire in central Ontario, to its current size for the past few days, and have upgraded its status.
The status of the fire, which is approximately 11,362 hectares in size, has been changed from “not under control” to “being held.” Being held means that thanks to the ongoing work of firefighters, with water bomber and helicopter bucketing support, the fire is expected to stay within the control boundaries that fire crews have established.
“This is great news, and I know Ontarians share my gratitude and respect for the fire crews and support staff who are battling this fire and other fires across the province,” Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Jeff Yurek said. “But their work isn’t done. There are still more than 120 active forest fires in Ontario, and this week the government committed an additional $100 million so we can continue to fight these fires aggressively. This money will pay for continued fire response efforts, which includes supplies and equipment used to suppress the fire and the work of support personnel and MNRF fire rangers.”
As a result of progress on Parry Sound 33, Henvey Inlet First Nation residents have returned home, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is actively working with other communities and agency partners to determine when people can safely return to the area. Travel restrictions are still in place so the ministry asks that people stay alert and cooperate with emergency personnel.
Please visit ontario.ca/forestfire to see maps and additional information.