SUDBURY -- Hydro officials say power has been restored to customers in the West Nipissing area after Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) had the power shut off Thursday while crews battled a large forest fire.

The fire near Crystal Falls, north of West Nipissing in the Hydro One Transmission Corridor, prompted Ontario MNRF to have the power turned off so firefighters could work safely. This caused disruption to approximately 2,950 Greater Sudbury Hydro customers and almost 2,400 Hydro One customers.

Wendy Watson, director of communications for Greater Sudbury Utilities (GSU), said power was out from 10:13 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.

"An emergency outage is required for safety reasons due to local wildfires in the area. Hydro One crews have turned off power to our equipment in the area at the request of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry so fire crews can safely attend to the fire.

The emergency outage is taking place between 10am to 2pm and affects approximately 2,381 Hydro One customers in the following areas: Commanda, Field, Springer, Nipissing First Nation, Beaucage, Grant, and Pedley. This emergency outage will also affect supply to Greater Sudbury Hydro Inc. customers in the area. 

We know outages are disruptive, especially as many are at home during this time. We would like to thank our customers in the area for their patience as our crews assist the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry," said Alicia Sayers, media relations for Hydro One in an email statement.

The MNRF says the fire hazard is currently high across most of the northeast and as of Wednesday afternoon, there were six forest fires in the region, two of which are in the North Bay area.

One new fire, North Bay 5, is located south of Mattawa and was discovered mid-afternoon May 20. Officials say it is not under control at this time and is 3.5 hectares.

The other active fire in the North Bay area, 3, is on an island in Wicksteed Lake and is being watched at 1 hectare.