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MNRF investigates human-caused forest fires

Fire hazard across Northwest is now high
MNR helicopter WEB

DRYDEN, Ont. — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is looking into the circumstances surrounding the cause of several fires related to human activity.

Three human-caused fires that occurred during the current Restricted Fire Zone order in northwestern Ontario are under investigation.

One of them is a 7-hectare blaze in the Sparks Lake area east of Thunder Bay. It broke out on Monday and is listed as Being Held.

Two other human-caused fires occurred on the weekend in the ministry's Red Lake district near Pikangikum. 

One has burned 27 hectares and is listed as Not Under Control, while the other blaze is just 0.1 hectare and is listed as Under Control.

Ministry spokesperson Jonathan Scott said Tuesday that fire ranger crews are having good success in efforts to contain the larger one.

The fire hazard across the northwest region is high.

Under a Restricted Fire Zone, the use of open fires such as campfires or the burning of brush or debris is prohibited. Portable gas or propane stoves are permitted for cooking or warmth.

Violations of the fire ban can result in fines up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as the financial responsibility for the cost of fighting a forest fire.