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2012 Timmins 9 wildfire was so widespread it took 6 months to extinguish

Monday, May 23rd 2022, 2:15 am - On this day in weather history, a large wildfire was blazing in Timmins, Ont.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


Timmins is a city in northeastern Ontario that's located on the Mattagami River. As of 2016, the area had a population of 41,788.

In late May 2012, a wildfire, dubbed Timmins 9 Fire, broke out and spread aggressively throughout the area.

Timmins District Fire #9 Courtesy Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Timmins District Fire 9. Courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

It was one of the biggest wildfires that the area had experienced in decades. The fire ended up spanning almost 40,000 hectares.

The fire was first spotted near the Gogama Unit Road on May 20, 2012, and still, no one knows what started it. The area was hot, dry, and windy, so the wildfire swiftly spread towards Timmins.

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The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) fire units led the firefighting efforts with support from other resources like local and provincial police services.

Though the fire was officially "under control" in around two weeks, it took six months to declare it extinguished.

Timmins, Ontario fire Timmins, Ont. Courtesy of TWN

In total, it took 8,097 person-days, six Bird Dog aircraft, 12 CL-415 waterbombers, three Twin Otters, around 830,000 litres of water, and more than four million litres of foam to fully put out the fire.

Northeastern Ontario had 948 wildfires during the 2012 season; Timmins 9 accounted for 39,540 of the 53,935 hectares burnt that year.

To learn more about the 2012 Timmins 9 wildfire, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: Timmins District Fire 9. Courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

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