5 kilometers and closing. Parry Sound 33 Fire bearing down on Hwy 69.

Parry Sound 33 is still burning out of control. photo courtesy MNRF

The Parry Sound forest fire #33 is dangerously close to the Trans Canada highway at this hour. Yesterday, it was only 6 kilometers away from Hwy 69. Today that has narrowed to 5 kilometres. The fire has been described as ‘a beast.’

MNRF photo

The fire is being boosted by hot weather and lake affect winds whipping in from Georgian Bay.

“There is concern about the location of the fire and how much it has spread today” said MNRF spokesperson Shayne McCool. “Yesterday we were at  – 9,000 hectres (size of fire) and now its over 10,000 hectres or 100 square kilometers.”

Parry Sound 33 is located between Georgian Bay and the Trans Canada highway.

“Aerial suppression – waterbombing and helicopter bucketing –  continue today along the east flank of Parry Sound 33 forest fire.” stated McCool.

“More evacuations have been put in place – and last night we issued an evacuation alert for Alban.” Alban, Ontario is located about 50 minutes south of Sudbury along Hwy 69.

An evacuation alert means that people would be given 24hrs notice to leave if the alert escalates into an evacuation order.

Homeowners and businesses in the small community of Alban have set up sprinklers in an effort to slow down the fire should it reach their doorsteps.

Heavy smoke on Highway 69 continues to be a major problem, and the OPP are closely monitoring the rapidly deteriorating conditions.

Firefighting crews have arrived from both Mexico and the U.S. to help battle the fire.

MNRF photo

OPP are urging motorists to use extreme caution and slow slow down in that area.

“Manually turn on your headlights lights if they haven’t come on automatically.” said the OPP.

The MNRF and OPP are reminding the public that if you access the Key, French or Pickerel Rivers by boat or plane you will be charged.

Anyone  inquiring about obtaining a travel access permit is urged to call: 705-773-4218

Environment Canada posted an air quality warning today that reads, “Due to the ongoing fires, air quality could be compromised in the following areas today: Espanola, Killarney, North Bay, Powassan, Mattawa, West Nipissing, French River, Bayfield Inlet and Dunchurch.

With very little rain in the immediate forecast, crews are battling very tough conditions.



Summary of Fires burning in the NorthEast region of Province.

By the evening of July 30 there were 41 active forest fires across the northeast. Of these, 15 are not yet under control, 26 are either being held, under control or being observed.

There were four new fires confirmed in the region on July 30th.

  • Timmins 14 – west of Tatachikapika River Plain – is already under control at 0.3 hectares.
  • Sudbury 93 is located north of Mud Lake and is not yet under control at 0.1 hectares.
  • Sudbury 94 is located southwest of Otter Lake and is not yet under control at 0.3 hectares.
  • Sudbury 95 is located southwest of Wahnapitae and is not yet under control at 0.2 hectares.
  • Parry Sound 33 – Approximately five kilometres west of highway 69 and less than one kilometre south of Pickerel River. Not under control.

Evacuation Alert for the Alban area, west of the high powered hydro lines on Highway 64. For more information, call the Municipality of French River at 705-898-2294 or visit www.frenchriver.ca

The northeast and east portions of the fire have spread north and eastward towards the CN Line and Pickerel River. Crews are working hard to slow the fire’s progression.

Protection of buildings and infrastructures continues along the Pickerel and Key Rivers, and French River on Hartley Bay Road.

Water bucketing and water bombers continue to work along the east flank.

While focused on the northeast side of the fire, work continues on all portions of the fire. The risk of fire spread near Fox Island area was reduced by conducting a burn out operation.

The fire behaviour is expected to remain the same today.

High temperatures mixed with low humidity and winds from the west/southwest, may cause smoke in surrounding communities and along highway 69.

For inquiries about French River Provincial Park restrictions: 705-857-1630 ext. 224

Parry Sound and Sudbury districts information, including calls related travel restrictions or to the recommendation of these evacuations and alerts.

  • River Valley fire cluster

Includes North Bay 25, 42 and 62.

North Bay 25

In Sturgeon River Provincial Park – 176 hectares. Being held

North Bay 42

North of Red Cedar Lake – 350 hectares – Being held

North Bay 62

Southwest of Hand Lake – 2,500 hectares.  Under Control.

Lady Evelyn fire cluster

North Bay 72 – Approximately 30 kilometers west of Temiskaming Shores.  27,275 hectares. Not under control

May become more active over the next few days as the areas starts to dry out from recent precipitation.

Crews continue to work on hot spots and create fire guards.

Pembroke fire cluster

Includes Pembroke 5, 7 and 7, and Algonquin Park 11.

Pembroke 5

37.5 hectares. – Being held

Pembroke 7 – 72.5 hectares. Being held

Pembroke 6 – 697 hectares. – Not under control. No growth was observed today.

Algonquin Park 11.  34.2 hectares. Being held

Crews continue to make good progress on all fires.

Pembroke district information, including calls related travel restrictions or to the recommendation of these evacuations and alerts.