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  • Ontario, Canada

    KASABONIKA, Ont. (CP) - Being surrounded by water was no
    protection from a raging forest fire as hundreds of residents from
    a First Nations community in northern Ontario were forced from
    their homes on Sunday.
    The fire swept over 30,000 hectares of land and eventually came
    too close to Kasabonika, a small community on an island in
    Kasabonika Lake, about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont.
    By Sunday evening, the entire population - over 700 residents -
    had been evacuated by planes from the town, said Bob Pinder,
    spokesman for the emergency response team in charge of the
    evacuation. The residents are being housed in a community centre in
    the nearby city of Greenstone.
    "They were worried about their homes being burnt," said
    Pinder, who added that none of the homes or buildings had been
    damaged as of Sunday night.
    "It's a very remote, traditional community," said Pinder, who
    spoke to Kasabonika residents through an interpreter, because many
    of the community's elders speak only Ojibway.
    Pinder said the community of Greenstone was well-equipped to
    handle the emergency - bus loads of Kasabonika children were taken
    to a nearby lake to swim during Sunday's heat, and Kasabonika teens
    were hired as monitors to make sure everyone's needs were met.
    Deb MacLean, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Natural
    Resources, said it could be as long as two weeks before Kasabonika
    residents could return home.
    She said the main priority of the fire prevention team in
    Kasabonika was "values protection". The team had already
    installed sprinklers on buildings in the town should the fire
    engulf the area.
    "It's going to be a long-term effort," MacLean said.
    Lightning strikes ignited the fire on June 17, and MacLean said
    lack of precipitation during fall and winter months had made the
    forests in northwest Ontario very susceptible to fire.
    "We've really entered early summer with underlying prevailing
    dry conditions," MacLean said.
    A smaller fire burning near Ignace, Ont., about 200 kilometres
    northwest of Thunder Bay, forced the evacuation of a tourist resort
    and some cottages.
    On Saturday, that fire forced the closure of the Trans-Canada
    Highway, but one lane was open on Sunday.


    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  • #2
    By Stephanie Levitz
    The Canadian Press
    Forest fires raging throughout Ontario, forcing the evacuations
    of communities and disrupting rail service, are costing the Ontario
    government $2 million a day, the Ministry of Natural Resources
    says.
    Arid conditions combined with high temperatures and
    unpredictable winds have ignited at least 50 fires that have cut a
    200-square-kilometre swath through a large part of northwestern
    Ontario. More than 800 people have been evacuated from their
    homes.
    With Environment Canada predicting lightning strikes for the
    region, fire management specialists are worried that the fires may
    continue to grow.
    "One fire is influencing the behaviour of others," Wendy
    LeClair, communications officer for the emergency response team of
    the Wawa Fire District, said Tuesday.
    "These fires are still pretty hot and when the weather changes
    we expect Fire 13 to fluff up and get rolling again."
    Fire 13 is the largest of three fires burning in the Wawa
    district at 45 kilometres long. The massive blaze is throwing out
    spot fires as well.
    On Tuesday, smoke from Fire 13 forced the evacuation of the
    community of Hillsport.
    Burning just five kilometres from a Canadian National rail line,
    it has also caused periodic closures of the tracks.
    "We're still running trains," said CN spokesman Ian Thompson.
    "We're working with the Ministry of Natural Resources because of
    the smoke and so on, but right now things are OK."
    The ministry says more than 700 Ontario fire rangers and 600
    Ontario contract forest firefighters are involved in combating the
    fires, along with 276 firefighters from British Columbia, Alberta
    and the Northwest Territories.
    All of the ministry's water bombers, supported by 13 water
    bombers from outside the province, are in operation, along with 92
    helicopters.
    "Our priority is to protect human life, property and forest
    values and we are allocating all available resources to battle
    these fires," Natural Resources Minister Jerry Ouellette said in a
    release.
    Fires began in the region over the weekend, and there is no word
    on when they might subside.
    Fire management specialists continue to hope for rain.
    "I got up this morning and my truck had a few rain drops on
    it," said LeClair. "And the robins were pretty excited, but we
    need a lot more than that."


    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Ontario Update 6/25

      Northern Ontario town threatened by forest fire
      TORONTO (Reuters) - Crews armed with giant
      irrigation sprinklers struggled Wednesday to protect a
      Northern Ontario town threatened by one of about 50 forest
      fires fueled by tinder dry conditions in the region.
      Firefighters have been brought in from across Canada to
      battle the blazes, most of which are in northwestern Ontario.
      An estimated 184,000 hectares (455,000 acres) have been burned,
      and about 1,000 people forced from their homes in different
      communities.
      The largest of the fires was about 80,000 hectares in size
      and threatened the town of Kasabonika, a native Indian
      community about 600 km (370 miles) north of Thunder Bay, where
      crews have set up agricultural irrigation sprinklers to protect
      buildings.
      "They nail them up to the tops of buildings... and it just
      keeps spraying huge swaths. So if the fire does come through it
      just burns around the area that has been soaked down," said Bob
      Thomas, a spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Natural
      Resources.
      About 700 people were evacuated from the town Sunday,
      but no buildings have been lost.
      Thomas said crews were also struggling with high
      temperatures, but cooler weather was moving into the area. A
      cold front coming up from the United States also carried rain
      showers, but not enough to control the fires, he said.
      No injures were reported. Fires were also reported burning
      in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
      REUTERS
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment


      • #4
        August 9th 2005

        By Shannon Montgomery
        The Canadian Press
        Strafed by more than 150,000 lightning strikes in the space of
        five days, Ontario's tinder-dry forests were being ravaged by fire
        Tuesday as officials warned they may not have enough personnel on
        hand to keep the blazes under control.
        There were 147 active forest fires in the province, 63 of which
        started Monday, and more than 1,500 firefighters on the ground in
        the battle - 207 of whom were on loan from the Yukon, the Northwest
        Territories and the western provinces.
        The province has seen twice the number of fires this year as the
        10-year average - but has managed through proactive firefighting to
        keep them smaller than normal, said Ontario Fire Information
        Officer Bob Thomas.
        The problem isn't the number of fires, it's the number of
        firefighters, Thomas said.
        "We don't have enough people to put people on all those
        fires," he said Tuesday from his office in Sault Ste. Marie.
        "We have fires burning with no staff on them."
        One hundred campers had to be evacuated Monday from the Big
        Water Lake Campground near Timmins when a nearby blaze got close
        enough to pose a serious threat.
        The campground's owner, Marian Tremblay, said most of the
        campers have returned home, although a few were either staying with
        friends in the area or at nearby hotels.
        Although the fire wasn't directly headed for the campground,
        erratic winds could have easily blown it off course, Thomas said.
        David Ramsay, the province's natural resources minister, said
        he's been keeping a close eye on the fire threat, which often
        depends more on the whims of Mother Nature than anything else.
        "It's a big fire season, it's always a worry," Ramsay said.
        "Especially when you've got weather coming through like we've
        had."
        But Ramsay said he's pleased with the way Ontario's firefighters
        have kept the fires under control so far - most notably new
        technology that allows the province to keep closer track of
        lightning strikes and deal with fires soon after they begin.
        "I think that's why we've had some good success," he said.
        Ontario has seen 43 per cent of the country's forest fires so far
        this year, but lost less than 2 per cent of the area burned across
        Canada, Ramsay added.
        "We have a very rapid response."
        Some provinces, like British Columbia, won't be able to send any
        more help because they're dealing with their own fire problems.
        The province has one fire out of control that's taking up a lot
        of resources, and they expect more blazes to crop up in the coming
        days, said Radha Fisher, B.C.'s provincial fire information
        officer.
        "We're seeing most of the province in high fire danger, and
        we're starting to see some areas of extreme," Fisher said, adding
        that more than 130 firefighters are headed back to B.C. for a rest
        after helping in Ontario's fight.
        "Our indication at this point is to not send anyone right
        away."
        All provincial firefighters are managed by a central agency in
        Winnipeg, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which
        monitors needs and surplus across Canada and sends crews
        accordingly. Ontario has asked for more help, but Thomas said he'd
        never ask a province to send people it needs at home.
        Ontario's biggest fire is about 100 kilometres north of Thunder
        Bay, said Thomas, and it's 5,000 hectares in size. It's just one of
        50 blazes that are burning out of control across the province,
        Thomas said.
        The fire that caused Big Water Lake Campground's evacuation, the
        only one so far to pose a danger to people, was being held steady
        Tuesday by firefighters, he added.
        Forest fire researcher Tim Lynham of the federal Canadian Forest
        Service said Canada's fire situation has been about average so far
        this year.
        In the past couple of years British Columbia has seen some
        massive fires, but Lynham said the pendulum this year has decided
        to swing over to Ontario and Quebec, both of which are dealing with
        bad fire seasons.
        The rest of Canada has stayed relatively fire-free, Lynham
        said.
        Quebec has seen 800,000 hectares of forest consumed by fires
        this year, three times more than the 10-year average, said Lynham.
        Ramsay said that last year Ontario sent firefighters across the
        country to help out British Columbia and Alberta, who are now
        repaying the favour.
        "We all get our turn, when the weather fluctuates," Ramsay
        said. "It's like a mutual aid system."


        (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

        Comment


        • #5
          August 10th

          Forest fires scorch dry Ontario, British Columbia
          VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Lightening
          sparked more blazes in the tinder dry forests of Ontario
          Wednesday where crews are fighting more than 130 fires,
          provincial officials said.
          The fires are burning in about 32,000 hectares (80,000
          acres) of forest, although no communities are immediately
          threatened, according the Ontario Ministry of Natural
          Resources, whose resources have been stretched by the fires.
          "In the last three or four days we have had on average 15
          to 20 new fires every day and the majority of those have been
          attributed to lightening strikes," said Deborah MacLean, a fire
          information officer.
          Ontario imposed new restrictions on Wednesday on the use of
          camp fires and other burning in a large area near Thunder Bay,
          on the north shore of Lake Superior, in an attempt avoid
          additional human-caused blazes.
          About 1,500 people are involved in fighting the Ontario
          fires with extra crews and water-bombing aircraft brought in
          from other provinces.
          Several fires are also raging in British Columbia. Crews
          supported by aircraft were attempting to contain a blaze in the
          Okanagan Valley that erupted Tuesday near the town of
          Oliver.
          The blaze has prompted the evacuation of 15 homes in the
          town in south-central British Columbia, just north of the U.S.
          border.
          High winds and lightening have raised fears the Okanagan
          fire will spread.
          REUTERS
          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

          Comment

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