UPDATE: Extreme fire risk across Manitoulin; fire bans in place

MANITOULIN––The Sudbury-Manitoulin District is currently at high to extreme risk for forest fires, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources. The risk will fluctuate depending on weather station data, explained MNR’s Isabelle Chenard, fire information officer. “Risk will vary with wind speed and direction, relative humidity and cloud cover. The (forest fire information) map updates in real time.”

As of July 3, there were 29 active forest fires across the Northeast, with 16 not yet under control. Sudbury 39, located north of French River Provincial Park and covering 0.8 of a hectare, is currently the nearest active fire to Manitoulin Island.

The MNR can impose a restricted fire zone but does not have any fire restrictions in place in the Northeast region at this time. However, complete fire bans are in place in Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, Billings, Central Manitoulin, Burpee and Mills, Gore Bay, Gordon/Barrie Island, Killarney, Assiginack and Tehkummah. This means that no fires of any kind are permitted; typically, a complete ban also includes fireworks.

In Whitefish Falls, fires are not allowed between sun-up and sundown. Robinson and Dawson unorganized townships will implement fire bans when the MNR does.

Local First Nations do not have any official bans in place but are advising their members to use caution due to the extreme fire risk.