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Thousands of hectares are burning out of control in parts of Ontario

            Photo: Ontario FireRangers

By PATTY WINSA Feature Writer, The Star

 

A massive swath of the province outside of North Bay continues to burn after lightning from storms triggered fires that are raging out of control due to high winds.

 

At least 3,000 hectares are in flames in the North Bay district, which stretches from north of North Bay to Temagami. Further to the north, another 12,000 hectares are burning in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park.

 

Numerous other fires are being held or brought under control while still others, in less populated areas, are being monitored — part of a trend in the province that already has seen 537 fires this year, compared to the 10-year annual average (360).

“On a day like today, where there’s a lot of sun, those fires not under control are expected to grow,” says Shayne McCool, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. A change of wind direction, from north to south on Tuesday, meant the smoke was likely visible to the residents of North Bay, he says.

About 20 residences in Temagami have been evacuated because of a 100-hectare fire and the town, which is about 90 kilometres northwest of North Bay, is on a voluntary evacuation notice. Fire rangers set up sprinkler systems to protect structures in the Temagami marina.

Police say there is a “dangerously close, active forest fire” in the area, according to The Canadian Press, and residents have been asked to drive north on Highway 11 to escape the flames.

Read the full story in The Star.