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Parry Sound 33 fire: An update on evacuation alerts and states of emergency

Forest fire in cottage country flares up Wednesday due to high winds

Evacuation alerts and orders, and states of emergency remain in place as firefighters continue to try to contain the Parry Sound 33 fire burning 5,600 hectares of bush about an hour south of Sudbury.

High winds on Wednesday caused the out-of-control forest fire to flare up again, after humid and wet weather Tuesday dampened the blaze somewhat.

States of emergency remain in place for the municipalities of Killarney and French River, as well as for Henvey Inlet First Nation.

First recommended on July 21, The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is still recommending communities, municipalities and townships in the following areas impose a mandatory evacuation order for resident with boat access only:

All areas ranging from the western and northern borders of French River Provincial Park, east to Highway 69, and as far south as the south shore of the Key River, including all residents and members of the public on both the north and south shores of the French River and the Pickerel River, as well as Hartley Bay.

The Parry Sound District MNRF recommends all residents and cottage owners in the area be on evacuation alert, and people should be prepared to evacuate quickly depending on the fire situation.

The Sudbury District MNRF office has recommended an evacuation alert for all residents along Hartley Bay Road, pending changes to the fire situation.
These measures will remain in place until fire crews have fully contained the blaze.

Remember, a restricted fire zone remains in effect for most of the northeast. A person convicted of breaching the fire ban can face up to $25,000 in fines and be ordered to cover the cost of any firefighting efforts caused by the breach.
This restricted fire zone also includes areas south of the French River, including Parry Sound, from Georgian Bay east to the Quebec border, including Algonquin Provincial Park and from Renfrew north to Mattawa.

The cause of the fire is not known, and is being investigated by the MNRF. A report from CBC this week suggests the blaze may have originated at a massive windfarm construction on Henvey Inlet First Nation.

If you are travelling on Highway 69 in the Key River and Henvey Inlet area, don’t be surprised if you drive through periodic clouds of smoke from the fire.

As a reminder, here are some important phone numbers to keep handy:

  • For Information about the fire situation: 705-564-6165
  • For media inquiries: 705-564-6156
  • For inquiries about French River Provincial Park restrictions: 705-857-1630 ext 224
  • For Parry Sound District information, including all calls related to the recommendation of these evacuations and alerts: 705-773-4218 or 705-564-7963 
  • For updates on highway conditions, including closures, please call 5-1-1.