Forest fire in northeast Ontario community forces residents to evacuate

The Canadian Press

A forest fire has forced the evacuation of residents in a community north of Sudbury, Ont. 

Conservation officers and Ontario Provincial Police assisted with the precautionary evacuation of Shining Tree, Ont., residents Saturday afternoon after a forest fire broke out in the area on May 10.

The fire is still burning out of control today, according to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

The ministry says the perimeter of the fire is roughly 1,500 hectares, or 15 square kilometres. 

An implementation order is in effect until further notice that restricts access and use of certain roads and Crown lands in the area.

Highway 560 also remains closed at the junction of Highway 144 and at Elk Lake.

Evan Lizotte, a fire information officer with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, says the fire was “human caused,” but it’s not clear exactly how.   

He says the northeast region of Ontario is expected to see some cooler temperatures and more precipitation in the coming week, which could help bring the fire in the Shining Tree area — and other fires in the region — under control. 

There are now 17 active forest fires in the northeast region. 

Officials are advising the public to follow provincial outdoor burning regulations and to properly dispose of yard waste or debris. 

Ontario’s fire season began on April 1. 

To date, the province says there have been 68 fires in Ontario this year. 

Shining Tree is located about 200 kilometres north of Sudbury.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2022. 

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version reported an incorrect date for when the fire began.

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