Friday morning forest fire update from northeastern Ontario
There are 43 fires burning in Ontario right now. 41 of them are in northeastern Ontario. Lightning started more fires yesterday and thunderstorms are possible this morning.
The Timmins 9 forest fire is now 31,660 hectares, and covers 250 km2.
It just started raining in Timmins this morning. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) is hopeful the rain will have some impact on the fires.
Gas stations in Timmins were very busy yesterday as people prepared for the worst.
As for road closures, Highway 101 is closed from the Junction of Highway 144 to Foleyet. Near Gogama, Highway 144 is closed north of Highway 560 and Highway 661 to Highway 101 Junction.
Timmins 13 was reported yesterday on Kamiskotia Road. This fire is now contained.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Information Officer Heather Pridham says today will be a challenging day due to the weather. Wind gusts are over 40 km/hr this morning. The wind is expected to shift from the south to west with minimal precipitation. There is concern that the approaching cold front will bring lightning.
Kirkland Lake 8 grew about 100 ha in the northwest tip yesterday. Yesterday the fire received air attacks on west flank most of the day using helicopters. Infra-red scans yesterday showed hot spots on the east and west flanks of the fire.
Sprinklers are still set up to protect buildings. The evacuation of residents in the fire areas will be re-evaluated tomorrow (Saturday) at the earliest.
The Kirkland Lake area had 3 new fires reported yesterday – all started by lightning.
Kirkland Lake 11 is located 20km south of Kirkland Lake near Hough Lake and is 58 hectares in size. Highways were temporary closed yesterday afternoon. Waterbombers strategically attacked the fire and were able to save the homes and cottages. 7 ground crews are assigned to that fire. Hose line should be laid all around fire today. This fire is burning to the northeast of Hough Lake so it is not burning towards Kirkland Lake.
Kirkland Lake 12 fire is located 1km east of Boston Creek and is 1 ha in size. There are 2 crews assigned to this fire and it is burning away from Kirkland Lake and isn’t a threat to town. This fire is expected to be wrapped up in the next couple of days.
Kirkland Lake 13 is 1,000 hectares in size and is located between Elk Lake and Matachewan, about 5km of Highway 65. The Golden Eagle Lake Camp was evacuated yesterday. Value protections are ongoing at that camp with sprinkler systems. The OMNR hopes to save the camp. The communities of Matachewan & Elk Lake are not at risk at this time. There are 6 bull dozers assigned to this fire. They will be building fire guards at the rear and on the east and west flank. There are 3 ground crews on the scene now, and more are coming today. The northeast section of this fire area has a rough terrain, so this is expected to be will be difficult for the crews.
Waterbombers were able to attack all 3 new fires from the air yesterday. This helped knock down the flames and the head of the fire to allow ground crews to get in with their hoses.
With today’s forecast wind change, the smoke from the Timmins 9 fire will likely drift into Kirkland Lake.
Kirkland Lake’s town council met this morning to release $100,000 from their reserve fund to be used if more evacuations are necessary.
Premier McGuinty flew into Kirkland Lake yesterday afternoon to visit the firefighters. Media was not invited.
Hydro One also has 80-100 workers working near Kirkland Lake to reestablish the power to the gold mines.
Information updates from CJKL and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Information Officer Heather Pridham
To monitor current lightning activity in Ontario, visit Lightning Activity from Environment Canada.
- Kirkland Lake fire update
- Timmins Fire 9 grew significantly today; widespread smoke in northeastern Ontario
- Friday evening fire update for northeastern Ontario
- Update on fire situation in northeastern Ontario
- Latest Kirkland Lake fire update (KL-8). Fire has not grown.
- Evacuation notices in Kirkland Lake, Ontario
- Photos from the Timmins 9 fire
- Timmins 9 fire through night vision goggles