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HomeNewsForecasted rain not likely to lift fire ban, Chief Whiteley

Forecasted rain not likely to lift fire ban, Chief Whiteley

Just because there’s a “little bit” of rain in our forecast, both the fire ban from local authorities and the province most likely won’t be lifted.

That from North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whitelely, who says with forest fires raging across Ontario, the challenges are plenty.

“We don’t know how much rain we’re going to get or what areas are going to get it,” shares Whiteley. “The other big factor is also the capacity of services.”

Whiteley says due to forest fires raging across Ontario, the MNR is stretched thin.

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“The assistance from other provinces [also won’t be available],” he says. “We see what’s happening in Nova Scotia and Alberta. Quebec is now facing the worse fire season they’ve had in many years. There’s a lot of challenges out there right now so lifting a ban just because of a little bit of rain will most likely not happen.”

Whiteley points to the forest fires currently burning to the west in the Sudbury area as an example.

“There’s over a thousand-hectare fire west of Sudbury. North of Sudbury, there’s a community on evacuation alert. […] Just two weeks ago we had a forest fire here in the city limits which was touch and go. We fought that with the MNR and had to bring in water bombers to do that. That’s getting a little too close for my comfort.”

The area’s been under a total fire ban since June 1, with officials saying no fires of any type are permitted at any time, including for cooking and for warmth.

The communities affected include:

North Bay, Municipality of Callander, Nipissing Township, Municipality of Powassan, Municipality of East Ferris, Municipality of West Nipissing, McMurrich-Monteith Township, Laurier Township, Twp. of Chisholm, Armour Township, Ryerson Township, Village of Burk’s Falls, Village of Sundridge, Township of Strong, Township of Joly, Town of Temagami, Township of Perry, Community of Phelps, Bonfield, South River and Machar, Port Loring, Loring and surrounding communities.

The local ban runs alongside the province-issued Restrict Fire Zone, which includes most of the northeast.

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