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article imageCrews battle dozens of forest fires in northeastern Ontario

By Karen Graham     Jul 15, 2018 in Environment
Due to the extreme fire hazard, several recent periods of heavy lightning and the large number of wildfires burning, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has implemented a Restricted Fire Zone in some areas of Northeastern Ontario.
There are now 46 active wildfires burning in Ontario, down from 70 on Monday, said Shayne McCool, fire information officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
"Firefighters have made great progress over the past couple of days," said McCool. But he noted that 21 fires are still not under control, reports CTV News Canada.
Over 200 firefighters and support staff from across Canada and the state of Minnesota have joined the 400 firefighters already working on the ground in Ontario’s northeast.
Map shows active fires in Ontario as of Saturday
Map shows active fires in Ontario as of Saturday
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry protects
On Friday evening, due to the extreme fire hazard, several recent periods of heavy lightning and the large number of wildfires burning, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has implemented a Restricted Fire Zone in some areas of Northeastern Ontario.
A restricted fire zone means that within the area, no camping, day trips or other recreational activities are permitted. Additionally, campfires, or burning of brush or debris, is restricted. The penalty for failure to comply with the restrictions could result in fines of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as financial responsibility for the costs incurred in fighting a forest fire.
According to government data, as of Saturday, 598 forest fires had sparked in Ontario, compared to a total of 152 in 2017. Over the last 10 years, Ontario has seen an average of 370 wildfires yearly.
In Temagami earlier this week, residents of 20 homes were forced to leave because of the fires, but have since returned. “The residents are cautious because the situation could change at any moment and they could be asked to leave again,” Temagami Mayor Lorie Hunter said Friday, according to The Toronto Star.
It should be noted that the restrictions will remain in place until further notice and are dependent on several factors, including weather conditions. Right now, there is still a high risk of thunderstorms and lightning.
More about Ontario, Forest fires, Increase, Lightning, Restricted
 
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