Forest fires continue to worry northern towns
A forest fire burns near Timmins, Ont., on Thursday, May 24, 2012. (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources-Christine Rosche)
Published Friday, May 25, 2012 10:45AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 11, 2012 6:09PM EDT
TIMMINS, Ont. - Officials in Timmins in northern Ontario have declared a state of emergency as a wildfire that has been burning for days continues to grow.
Billowing smoke and ash have the city of 43,000 on high alert and have prompted evacuations in the communities of Hydro Bay, Kamiskotia Highway and Cooks Lake.
That's in addition to an evacuation order for the nearby Mattagami First Nation that saw 118 residents relocate to Kapuskasing on Wednesday.
The fire roughly 30 kilometres outside Timmins has also forced the closure of a gold mine operated by Lake Shore Gold Corp.
The Ministry of Natural Resources says high winds are fuelling the blaze and there are concerns strong winds today could push significant smoke into the community.
A forest fire that has been threatening the community of Kirkland Lake, about 140 kilometres southeast of Timmins, appears to be almost out but emergency crews are keeping an eye on dangerous hot spots.
There are currently 45 active forest fires in Ontario, 43 of them in the northeast region.