THUNDER BAY – The total number of forest fires to date in 2021 in the Northwest Region are nearly 60 per cent higher than the 10-year average.
According to MNRF information officer Jonathan Scott, as of Tuesday morning there had been 759 fires to date, 287 more than the 472 to this point on average over the past decade.
The fires have also consumed more than three times as much terrain, burning 475,444 hectares, compared to a 10-year average of 151,898.
“There have been a lot of fires to manage,” said Scott, noting fire crews are putting out about 10 fires a day.
“We’re trying to get to fires when they’re smaller.”
Firefighters tackling some of the region’s larger fires got a bit of a reprieve over the past couple of days, with 24 millimetres of rain falling in the Deer Lake First Nation area and 25 millimetres in the Poplar Hills First Nation area.
Both communities have been evacuated as fires advanced toward them and thick smoke made breathing difficult.
However, with the rain came lightning strikes, which have led to more fires starting, Scott cautioned.