Parry Sound 33 finally tamed, province says

Published on: August 22, 2018 | Last Updated: August 22, 2018 1:16 AM EDT

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has issued an update on the fire burning near Parry Sound and Killarney, and news it’s good.

They said Tuesday that Parry Sound 33, one of the largest fires in northeastern Ontario, is being held. Some waterway and road restrictions have been lifted.

“On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to thank the more than 1,400 fire crew and support staff who were on the front lines battling these fires,” Jeff Yurek, minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, said in a release. “This progress would not have been possible without the help of firefighters and support staff from Ontario, other provinces and territories, Parks Canada, American states and Mexico, who worked around the clock to ensure the safety and protection of the community.”

The Mexican firefighters have returned home and all other out-of-province fire crews were demobilized Tuesday, after weeks of combined effort to control and minimize more than 1,100 fires across the province. Parry Sound 33 began burning on July 18 and peaked at more than 11,000 hectares. Restricted fire zones remain in place, however, covering the area from north of Rosseau, northwest to Espanola and Cartier, to the Quebec border including Temagami and Mattawa north of the Mattawa River.

This area includes Parry Sound, Burk’s Falls, Powassan, North Bay and Greater Sudbury.

Residents outside the Restricted Fire Zone are urged to check with municipal fire department for local burning restrictions.

Parry Sound 33, is listed as being held. It is located between Killarney and Parry Sound.

North Bay 72 and several other fires burning in the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park area, are all listed as under control.

So far this year, 1,118 forest fires have been reported in the province, compared to 625 in 2017.

However, with the danger easing in the northeast, the province is freeing crews to help elsewhere.

“As the fire situation in the northeast diminishes, we continue to monitor the fire situation in northwestern Ontario and western Canada and will be able to lend our resources to help fight the wildfires in the west,” Yurek said.

Ontario has set up one Incident Management Team in British Columbia to assist with their fire situation and plans to deploy another team today.

While progress is being made, some parts of northwestern Ontario are still burning and the fire danger remains high to extreme. A cluster of six fires in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, near Red Lake, is being monitored as they could merge after an extended dry period and drought conditions.

For more information on the current fire situation, please visit ontario.ca/forestfire.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca