Canada is known for an abundance of forests across the country, but exceptionally dry summer conditions have lead acres of Ontario's greenery to be charred by forest fires.
News broke of 20 homes being evacuated in Temagami, Ontario today after declaring a state of emergency due to a forest fire growing closer to the small town. Because the municipality has a population of just over 800 people, that leaves many citizens displaces out of their homes, something that is affecting other people in Northern Ontario.
Water bombers active on a series of forest fires across Temagami region, north of North Bay caused by tinder dry conditions, extreme heat, and wicked lightening strikes. pic.twitter.com/t4eJ8qDBwr— dave seglins (@cbcdaveseglins) July 9, 2018
As of June 8, there are over 78 active forest fires in Ontario, with 33 of those fires being labelled as not yet under control. The remaining 45 fires are either under control, being observed, or held in their current state.
Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry stated that the hot summer the province has been enduring helped lead to the perfect conditions for these fires to start. Dry forests and lightning storms have led to an excessive amount of forest fires sweeping across the northern section of the province.
The ministry also has said that they're expecting more fires throughout the region as more severe thunderstorms are predicted for the area. Lightning is what started 13 new fires yesterday and high winds continue to carry the flames to new areas.
The OPP representing northeastern Ontario has issued a statement that should the fire continue, more residents should prepare to possibly be evacuated from their homes.
EVACUATION NEAR TEMAGAMI due to fire. #OPP from #Temagami and #TemiskamingShores ASSISTING MNRF. MNRF mandatory evacuation affecting area. #Hwy11 remains open however fire conditions may cause closures. If travelling consider delaying or using alternate routes. ^cb pic.twitter.com/ZosTce9BM3— OPP North East (@OPP_NER) July 8, 2018
Jolanta Kowalski, the ministry's spokesperson spoke to City News about the situation and shared that other provinces have been called in to help with the situation. There are already 400 firefighters currently working with the Ontario forest fires but more hands are needed.
"The risk of wildland fires across most of northern Ontario is high and it’s especially challenging in the northeast right now because there are so many fires," Kowalski said.
#MNR Water Bombers working on an active fire south of #Temagami today. Some areas were evacuated for #PublicSafety. Please stay clear and consider alternate routes through the area. ^sh pic.twitter.com/CJuBz8EvqW— OPP North East (@OPP_NER) July 9, 2018
There is currently a restricted fire zone for northern Ontario, meaning that campfires or open fires of any kind are not allowed. Residents who chose to disobey the restrictions can be subject to a $25,000 fine but more importantly, could lead to greater risks for these communities.
Source: CityNews Toronto