This past forest fire season was the best of times in Northeastern Ontario, but the worst of times in the Northwest.
The Northwest was burning up. MNRF fire information officer Isabelle Chenard says it was quite the opposite in the Northeast.
“We had a total of 209 fires in the Northeast region, compared to the Northwest, which had 989 fires,” she points out. “So that’s quite a difference.”
Flames ate through almost 780,000 hectares in Northwestern Ontario, compared to 13,600 in the Northeast. One hectare is the size of a football field.
Chenard attributes that to drought conditions in the Northwest that were the worst in half a century,
“And in the Northeast, we had kind of a more seasonal weather pattern where we saw some nice warm, dry temperatures and then they would be routinely followed by periods of rain.”
The official forest fire season ends on November 1st every year.