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Restricted Fire Zone declared throughout Northwestern Ontario

THUNDER BAY -- The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone in much of Northwestern Ontario to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.
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(Photo by Lee-Anne Carver)

THUNDER BAY -- The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone in much of Northwestern Ontario to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

The MNRF declared the restriction early Saturday morning, citing unusually dry spring conditions with no end in sight, which have resulted in increasing forest fire activity .  

The restriction will remain in effect until wet weather conditions balance the dry ground and brush on the land.  

Under the Restricted Fire Zone, all burning permits are suspended and all open fires are prohibited.  Campfires may be allowed at some organized campgrounds or parks that use approved fire pits and meet certain other criteria.  Campers should check with the owners or operators.  Within the Restricted Fire Zone area, people can still use portable gas stoves for cooking and warmth but the public is asked to exercise extreme caution. 

Fire staff and conservation officers will strictly enforce the restrictions on open burning.

A 13,000-hectare fire in Woodland Caribou National Park continues to burn out of control on Saturday and Kenora is blanketed with thick smoke from a fire north of nearby Ingolf, whcih doubled in size on Friday after its 100 members were evacuated.  

Click here for more information about the current fire situation, the active fires map and the restricted fire zones.

The Northwest Region Fire Information Hotline is available for general information updates at 1-888-258-8842 and the public can report forest fires by calling 310-FIRE (3473).