It’s slow progress - but it’s still progress. The fight against some northern forest fires is starting to show results and nature is cooperating.
The ALIR fire, burning on the west side of Amisk Lake, is continuing north - but hotspots advancing toward Highway 106 appear to have stalled for the moment.
The fire, which began near Muskeg Bay and has slowly moved north over the past two months, is now between two and four kilometres away from the Hanson Lake Road, but has not made new advances in the past few days. The fire has impacted almost 30,000 hectares of land and is continuing to be acted on by Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) resources and crews. The road is still open as of Sept. 6.
Two other, smaller Saskatchewan fires burning in the vicinity of Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach - the Hobb fire and the Fitz fire - are both marked as “ongoing assessment” by the SPSA. Recent hotspots have not been reported with either fire. The Hobb fire has impacted about 3,700 hectares, while the Fitz fire has impacted about 110 hectares, according to most recent data.
The other fire close to Flin Flon, the WE038 fire north of Kisseynew Lake, is now considered to be “under control” by Manitoba Conservation and Climate. The fire was officially marked as “under control” Sept. 2.
Other fires in northern Manitoba - namely the WE032 and WE047 fires - are still out of control, with those two fires still the largest within 100 kilometres of Flin Flon. The WE032 fire has affected more than 64,000 hectares of land as of Sept. 6 according to Manitoba Conservation and Climate, while the WE064 fire has impacted almost 54,000 hectares. Both fires have been burning for more than 50 days.
A smaller fire, the WE083 fire, is also now considered “under control” by Manitoba Conservation and Climate as of Sept. 6. The fire, which burned on both sides of the rail line to Pukatawagan, began in late July.
Flin Flon, Snow Lake and most of northern Manitoba, along with Pelican Narrows and Sandy Bay across the provincial border, are all under a “low” fire danger as of Sept. 6, while Creighton, Denare Beach and The Pas are under a “moderate” fire danger.
Neither Manitoba or Saskatchewan are under fire or fire-related travel restrictions - COVID-19 restrictions on northern travel are still in effect in Manitoba.
Throughout Manitoba, 46 fires are still burning throughout the province, with all but five burning in northern and western Manitoba as of Sept. 6. A total of 15 air attack helicopters and six waterbombers are being used to kill off the remaining blazes. A total of 445 fires have been reported throughout Manitoba this summer.
Meanwhile, only 22 fires are still burning in Saskatchewan, with most burning in north central regions west of La Ronge. Five hundred and ninety four fires have been reported so far this year.