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Fire hazard on rise right across region

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New fire starts continue to emerge in the Kenora and Red Lake districts of the Northwest Region, where forest fire hazard conditions are “extreme” in areas.

There were 13 new fires in all confirmed in the region by late yesterday afternoon.

Four were located in Kenora District, including one near Moose and Ord Lake that was listed as “not under control” at 0.1-hectares in size at last report.

Another one was spotted near Dowswell Lake, near the southern border of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park.

At 50 hectares in size, this blaze was listed as “not under control” at last report.

Nearby to the east, Kenora Fire #79 began on a peninsula on Rowdy Lake and since has spread to the mainland.

The 40-hectare blaze also was listed as “not under control” at last report.

Kenora Fire #78, meanwhile, was located on Big Black Island in the southern portion of Lake of the Woods.

The 0.1-hectare blaze was listed as “not under control,” as well.

High temperatures and steady winds are raising the fire hazard across the region.

Currently, the hazard is “high" across most of the region, with pockets of "extreme” hazard in the Red Lake District and the far north.

At present, there are 96 active fires in the region, of which 79 are listed as either “under observation," "being held," or "under control.”

Among these active fires, Kenora Fire #71, near the Manitoba border about 30 km north of Wabaseemoong (also known as Whitedog), saw another day of aggressive growth due to some very receptive fuel types.

Areas of dead standing pine have helped the fire claim roughly 3,000 hectares since its start on July 15.

At the moment, 25 crews have been assigned to the fire and are trying to establish hoselines around the rear of it with support from waterbombers.

An ignition team is looking for opportunities to tie the fire into natural boundaries.

Many of the crews on this particular fire are imported from Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as U.S. firefighters from the Great Lakes region.

Twenty personnel from the Northwest Territories were scheduled to arrive today to help ease strain on resources.

To report a forest fire, call 310-FIRE (3473).

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