The forest fire season has officially ended in Ontario. Check the map below to find out where fires have occured in 2013.
|Year to date||Fires||Hectares|
|10 year average||1,142||137,208|
This information has been provided by the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services (AFFES) program of the Ministry of Natural Resources, which coordinates forest fire detection, monitoring, suppression and public information and education services for Ontario.
Where are the fires?
Please Note - Ontario’s official forest fire season starts on April 1 and extends until October 31 each year. This is the last fire situation report for 2013. This service will start again in the spring of 2014.
Ontario Fire Season Report: 2013
Overall, the 2013 fire season was relatively quiet compared to the 10-year average for number of fires and hectares burned. From season to season, forest fire activity fluctuates depending largely on weather patterns. This year prolonged periods of high humidity with short, intermittent drying periods, have kept forest fuels damp and new human or lighting caused fires to a minimum.
Operational spending for the 2013 fire season is estimated at approximately $112 million. This compares to approximately $172 million that was spent in 2012. Fire season spending varies depending on seasonal activity. Adjusting for inflation, program spending has averaged approximately $142 million annually during the last ten years.
With the 2013 fire season completed, equipment is now being recycled and aircraft are undergoing maintenance. Fire program personnel are moving ahead with required planning, training and upgrading in preparation for the 2014 season.
Out of Province Deployments
Although the fire season at home was quiet, Ontario did assist provide assistance and resources to Manitoba, Quebec, the Northwest Territories, and Montana through our mutual aid agreements. Specifically, 109 Ontario FireRangers and overhead staff from Ontario were sent to Montana to help support their forest fire suppression efforts.
Ontario is investing in safer communities and protecting the province’s vast forests by building and upgrading three forest fire response centres. This one time investment of $60.8 million for firefighting infrastructure will support quick forest fire response to wildfires on nearly 90 million hectares of Crown land. The new construction projects will follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles, including solar power and other energy-efficient features.
In the Northeast Region, capital investments will total approximately $37.2 million. For the Sudbury facility, costing approximately $25 million, upgrades include renovating the existing building and purchasing a nearby aviation hangar. Construction is expected to be completed during the first half of 2016. For the Haliburton facility, costing approximately $12.2 million, upgrades include relocating the Haliburton Fire Management Headquarters to the nearby Haliburton/Stanhope Municipal Airport. Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2015.
In the Northwest Region, capital investments will total approximately $23.6 million. For the Sioux Lookout facility, costing approximately $14 million, a new Fire Management Headquarters will replace the current facility. This project is on schedule and we expect to be operational in the new facility by April 2014. The province of Ontario is also investing 9.6 million at the Armstrong Fire Attack Base located 250km north of Thunder Bay. This facility is strategically located to allow for quick response to wildfires in northwestern Ontario.
This officially marks the end of what turned out to be an unusually slow fire season in Ontario. We are looking forward to preparing for the next fire season during these winter months, and will be keeping you posted with daily updates again starting in the spring of 2014.
The forest fire hazard and fire arrival predictions are minimal. Due care must still be used in forest activities. Report forest fires north of the French and Mattawa rivers by calling 310-FIRE (3473). In southern regions, forest fires can be reported by calling your local fire department.
Northeast Regional Contacts:
Liza Bain Adriana Pacitto
Fire Information Officer Fire Information Officer
Northwest Regional Contacts:
Deb MacLean Heather Pridham
Fire Information Officer Fire Information Officer
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.