Forest fire in northeastern Ontario threatens Trans-Canada Highway

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PARRY SOUND, Ont. — Provincial officials say a wildfire in northeastern Ontario that started more than a week ago has now crossed a set of railway tracks and is inching closer to a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Natural Resources says the fire, known as Parry Sound 33, is just six kilometres away from a portion of Highway 69.

Shayne McCool says the fire, which has now grown to more than 82 square kilometres, crossed a stretch of CN Rail tracks on Sunday and firefighters are working at beating it back.

It’s been a landmark year for forest fires in Ontario, which McCool says has been egged on by a lack of rain and lots of lightning.

There have been 831 wildfires this year so far, compared to an annual average of 511 over the past 10 years.

The ministry says there are currently 39 active fires in northeastern Ontario and 94 in the northwest region.

Of those, 41 fires are still out of control.

The Canadian Press