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Majority of forest fire damage this year occurred in NW Ontario

Provincial statistics show Ontario had an "average" year for fires

Northwestern Ontario accounts for close to 60 per cent of the forested areas of the province that were destroyed by fire this year.

In its season-ending report, the province's Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services section also noted that 85 per cent of the 776 fires this year occurred in the northwest region. 

But, as a whole, fire damage across Ontario was on par with the 10-year average.

There were 776 fires, burning 112,000 hectares.

The average over the last decade is 791 fires, with 104,000 hectares burned.

Human-caused fires this year were a notable problem, comprising 27 per cent of all the outbreaks.

Almost all the others were started by lightning.

But the report says the cause of 26 fires could not be determined due to insufficient evidence.

The estimated cost of fire suppression this year is $118 million.

Ontario spent almost $2 million sending firefighters and equipment to assist other provinces and American states, but expects to recover the costs from those jurisdictions.