Forest Fires

Check the map below to find out where fires are occurring in 2014.

Year to date Fires Hectares
2014 Fires to date303 Hectares to date5,386.5
10 year average Fires to date1,098 Hectares to date110,895
2013 Fires to date579 Hectares to date51,085

 

This information has been provided by the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services (AFFES) program of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, which coordinates forest fire detection, monitoring, suppression and public information and education services for Ontario.

Where are the fires?

 
Active fires:
New fires:
Out fires:


Show map data in a table

 

2014 Ontario Fire Season Report

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services

The 2014 fire season saw the lowest number of fires in more than 50 years according to recorded data, and likely the lowest in the history of the province. It was the ninth lowest for hectares burned. Provincially we recorded 303 fires at 5,386.5 hectares compared to last season with 579 fires and 51,085 hectares burned. The ten year average is 1,098 fires at 110,895 hectares.

The 2014 statistics are unofficial until all wildfire reports are finalized and a data verification process is completed. The statistics include fires reported throughout the year, not just during the official fire season of April 1 to October 31.

Regionally the 2014 statistics break down to the Northeast Region with 173 fires burning a total of 4166.1 hectares, and the Northwest Region recorded 130 fires burning a total of 1,220.4 hectares.

Just over half of the forest fires were caused by people, with the remainder caused by lightning. This season 186 of the 303 fires were caused by people with about 242.8 hectares of land burned as a result. There were 117 lightning-caused fires and about 5143.7 hectares of land burned.

Although fires caused by people can be small, they are often dangerous because they are burning close to other people and their properties. Rain was a big factor in keeping our human-caused fires small. Without that the fires had potential to become larger and more threatening.

The final costs for the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program for 2014 are not available yet but the 10-year average total cost for forest fire management is $139 million.  Year-to-year expenses can vary considerably depending on the number of fires and their severity in a season. Total fire related expenditures in Ontario can range from $75 - 231 million or more for a full fire season.

During the course of the summer and early fall, Ontario provided personnel resources for wildfire management in Alberta, Parks Canada, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories including Incident Management Team specialists, overhead personnel and Ontario FireRangers.

In addition, Ontario has provided power pumps, values protection units, portable relay tanks and several thousand lengths of hose to British Columbia.

By September when the deployments ended, a total of 1345 Ontario FireRangers plus support personnel worked a combined total of 22,309 days. These numbers represent FireRangers, overhead staff and Incident Management Team personnel who came back and forth on multiple deployments through the summer.

Ontario provided Incident Management Teams who were assigned to manage large, complex fire situations in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. The Incident Management Teams from Ontario took turns in rotation for the deployments and also had the opportunity to work on National Incident Management Teams. Four Incident Management Teams went out twice for a total of eight deployments and Ontario staff joined two separate Interagency teams in various roles in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

Aviation support was also deployed twice during the 2014 fire season with CL-415 heavy water bombers, air attack birddog aircraft and air attack officers to Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.  In addition, Air Attack was also dispatched to assist our Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact members on wildfires in the United States near our borders on a request from the state of Minnesota.

The benefit of participating in mutual services is that Ontario provides support when needed and in previous years has benefited from import of resources when needed. Mutual Aid Agreements are in place to address the financial costs of deploying resources out of province, which includes negotiated rates for manpower, equipment, and aircraft to ensure the assistance does not become a burden for Ontario. This year we expect to recover about $8 million from our out of province deployments.

The AFFES program has encountered changes this year including the closure of two fire bases and the renovation of others. While the closing of Kirkland Lake attack base and Pembroke attack base has focused resources to strategic locations, other areas are undergoing infrastructure renewal including the Haliburton and Sioux Lookout Fire Management Headquarters and the Armstrong Attack Base. Expansion of facilities is ongoing with the Northeast Region Forest Fire Management Centre and the Fire Management Headquarters in Sudbury.

Contact

Northeast Region:
Shayne McCool
Fire Information Officer
705-564-6146

Northwest Region:
Jonathan Scott
Fire Information Officer
807-937-7375

Preventing fires

Tips on how to be FireSmart

  • Shore lunch and campfires are responsible for wildfires every spring. Residents are reminded that they must tend their fires at all times, making sure to put them dead out before leaving. If it is windy, the risk of a wildfire is high – don’t burn!
  • Residents planning on burning grass, brush or other wood debris should consider composting or taking material to landfill sites instead. Each spring, grass fires get out of control and cause needless damage to barns, homes and cottages.
  • Planning to use fireworks this weekend? Under the Forest Fires Prevention Act (FFPA), any person who sets off fireworks is responsible to ensure any hot residue from the discharge of fireworks is extinguished. There may also be municipal by-laws in place regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Residents are reminded of their responsibilities under the FFPA. All forest fires are investigated to determine the cause, and a person can be held responsible for the costs of extinguishing or property damage incurred by a forest fire.
  •  Residents within organized municipalities should check with local fire departments or municipal offices for any burning restrictions in their area. 

For more FireSmart tips visit Ontario.ca/fireprevention.

 

Updated: November 19, 2014