A forest fire in Temagami, Ontario, on 8 July 2018. Five waterbombers were aiding hard-pressed ground crews in their struggle to contain fires in northeastern Ontario, which has prompted the evacuation of more than 50 homes that can only be accessed by boat. Photo: @OPP_NER / Twitter

KILLARNEY, Ontario, 22 July 2018 (The Canadian Press) – Crews are continuing to battle dozens of forest fires in northeastern Ontario, after the biggest of the blazes more than doubled in size over the course of a day.

The province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said in a release that as of Saturday night 64 fires were burning in the region, with 29 of them out of control.

The Ministry said the largest fire in the province’s northeast — known as Parry Sound 33 — had more than doubled in size during the past 24 hours to over 48 square kilometres.

Five waterbombers were aiding hard-pressed ground crews in their struggle to contain the fire, which has prompted the evacuation of more than 50 homes that can only be accessed by boat.

Evacuation orders have been issued for the Key Harbour and Killarney areas, as well as an area from the western and northern borders of the French River Provincial Park, east to Highway 69 — a portion of the Trans-Canada Highway — and south to the Key River.

Firefighters and equipment have poured in from across Canada, the United States, and Mexico to help the Ontario-based crews.

But there’s been little help from Mother Nature, with hot, dry conditions combined with lightning strikes and blustery winds fuelling — and often igniting — the flames.

“We’ve had a lot of smoke,” said Renee Germain who lives in Warren, Ont., located between Sudbury and North Bay. Though she’s not in the evacuation zone, she’s offering her property as a refuge for those with horses and livestock. […]

“Everything is very, very dry. We haven’t had much rain at all,” she said. “We have new fires that are starting every single day.” [more]

Fire crews continue battling dozens of fires in northeastern Ontario

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