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Another northern Ont. resident charged for illegal backyard fire, 5th in one week

A fifth person in northern Ontario has been charged in less than a week for having a campfire during the fire ban.

Due to the extreme forest fire hazard and growing number of blazes, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry declared most of the northeast region a restricted fire zone on June 1, which makes open-air burning illegal, including campfires.

However, some residents aren't getting the message.

Officers from the East Algoma detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police were called to help the Blind River Fire Department at a home shortly after 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.

"Upon police arrival, the fire in the backyard was extinguished and officers located a person who was belligerent and upset at members of the fire department because they couldn't have a fire," OPP said in a news release Thursday morning.

As a result, a 35-year-old man has been charged with unlawfully starting a fire in a restricted fire zone which comes with a fine of $880.

Depending on the circumstances, a person found to have illegally set a fire for any purpose in an affected restricted fire zone could face a fine of up to $25,000, three months in jail and financial responsibility for any costs incurred in fighting a forest fire.

"Algoma OPP have responded to recent calls for service related to fire bans around the East Algoma area. In the current dry conditions, these are serious matters that put lives, property and infrastructure at risk. There will be zero tolerance for any open-air burning, including campfires during the current Restricted Fire Zone and we will continue to support our local fire departments", said OPP Insp. Tyler Sturgeon.

Since May 31, three people from Elliot Lake and one person from Otto Township in the Timiskaming District have been charged for having a campfire during the fire ban. Two of those from Elliot Lake were charged under the municipal fire ban the day before the regional one went into effect.


In the last 24 hours, there have been seven new wildfires in northern Ontario – two in the northeast and five in the northwest.

One fire of note is Kirkland Lake 5, which is located eight km north of Lady Evelyn Smoothwater and 10 km south of Highway 65, started around 3:20 p.m. Wednesday and grew to 500 ha in just a few hours.

As of Thursday morning, there are 56 active wildfires in northern Ontario – 34 in the northeast and 22 in the northwest. Of those, 27 are not under control.

Four of the largest forest fires in the northeast -- Wawa 3, Cochrane 6 and 7 and Timmins 7 -- have not grown in size, but are not yet under control.

Chapleau 3 more than doubled Wednesday to 1,531 ha and Sudbury 10 more than tripled Wednesday to 403 ha.

As of Wednesday, there have been a total of 189 wildfires in the region since April 12 and 133 have been extinguished. A total of 42,041 ha have been burned as a result. Top Stories


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