Parry Sound 33 fire: The fight continues
Saturday, August 4, 2018, 7:47 PM - Forest fires across northern Ontario continue to keep both residents and visitors on edge, with the fight continuing through the holiday weekend.
Here are four things you need to know about the current situation on Parry Sound 33, the fire that started two weeks ago and has now grown to over 11,000 hectares in size.
1. WEEKEND WEATHER: HOT AND MOSTLY DRY, STORM CHANCE INCREASES
Continuing hot and dry conditions have made for a difficult fight for people fighting the Parry Sound 33 fire, though with the occasional help from the weather, but the Ministry of Natural Resources says firefighters have been holding the line.
In a late Sunday update, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF) said the day had been hot, but sounded optimistic about the progress against the fire.
"Crews have made excellent progress over the last few days and now have hose lines around most of the fire perimeter. More work still needs to be done as crews will work inward to solidify the control lines," the ministry says.
WATCH BELOW: ONTARIO STORM ENERGY FORECAST MONDAY
Monday, meanwhile, has been yet another hot day, with the potential for strong winds that could fan the fire's flames.
"Unsettled weather may bring some scattered thunderstorms, with the possibility of 10-15 millimeters of patchy rain. It is anticipated that temperatures will be in the mid to high twenties, with high humidity. Winds may gust up to 30 km/h or more," the ministry says.
2. EVACUATION ORDERS AND ALERTS
Evacuation orders remain in effect for the following parts of the Municipality of Killarney: Areas of Travers, Allen, Struthers, Kilpatrick, Bigwood (including Hartley Bay Road), a portion of Mowat, the Unsurveyed Area, 14 Mile Island and French River Provincial Park. For information, call the municipality at 705-287-2424
As well, an evacuation alert is still in effect for the town of Alban, south of Greater Sudbury, as well as French River, which means residents will have 24-hours notice to leave the community should an evacuation order be issued.
3. TRAVEL CONCERNS OVER POSSIBLE HIGHWAY CLOSURES
The following travel restrictions were still in effect for parts of the Parry Sound and Sudbury districts Monday:
- All travel and use of all water ways east and west of Hwy. 69 in Mowat, Mason, Bigwood, Allen, Struthers, Kilpatrick and Travers townships and all associated tributaries that access the river systems, including all access from Georgian Bay, and all islands on Georgian Bay within the French River Provincial Park boundaries, Dokis Island system, and Puddick Island and all islands north of Henvey Inlet 2, southern boundary from mainland due west to Potvin Point is prohibited unless authorized by travel permit issued by Parry Sound District or Sudbury District Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
- All road access west of Hwy. 69 in Bigwood, Allen, Struthers, Kilpatrick and Travers townships is prohibited and the unsurveyed lands from the French River to Nesbitt Creek including 14 Mile Island and French River Provincial Park and to the southern border of Henvey Inlet 2 Indian Reserve, excluding business and residences north of the French River directly adjacent to the west side of Hwy. 69.
Elsewhere in the north, other fires have prompted travel restrictions in the Pembroke, Kenora, North Bay, and Kirkland Lake areas.
4. IF YOU'RE CAMPING, REMEMBER THE FIRE BANS
For those with long weekend camping plans, fire bans remain in place for many of the provincial parks in the northeast region due to the extremely dry conditions. It's important for campers to remember that these bans include no roasting marshmallows or food over a campfire. Charcoal/other outdoor propane fire pits are also prohibited.
The forest fires prompted Grundy Lake Provincial Park, west of Highway 69, to close earlier this week with a reassessment of the closure expected on August 7, and visitors to French River Provincial Park will face some restrictions. Otherwise, officials say the parks are open with hopes that many people can still enjoy weekend activities such as swimming and camping. Ontario Parks is actually celebrating its 125th anniversary and many special events have been planned over the weekend.
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