MNR Fighting Forest Fire in Levack

Water bomber over the burn site. (City of Greater Sudbury Fire Service)

Thursday, July 19:

As of 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, crews from Greater Sudbury Fire Services fire stations in Levack and Chelmsford have been battling a forest fire behind the Coleman Mine, near Seal Lake Road in Levack. The fire is known as “Sudbury 83.” The Ministry of Natural Resources CL415 waterbombers are also flying over the site and say that the fire is currently not under control.

Burned area in Levack on July 20, 2018. (City of Greater City Fire Service)

Friday, July 20:

Last night, Vale’s Coleman Mine told CTV News that no smoke had entered the mine, but the day shift was brought to the surface early as a precaution. Night-shift crews reported to work, and the situation is being monitored.

According to the MNRF interactive fire map, as of Friday afternoon, the fire had grown from seven to 53 hectares. Sudbury is currently the only area in the province that is under an extreme danger rating.

Bucketing Helicopter. (Jesse Oshell, Assistant Deputy Fire Chief)

Saturday, July 21: 

Ground crews continued to coordinate fire suppression efforts with a bucketing helicopter on Saturday, however, throughout the evening on Friday, the fire intensity rose again, and two CL415 waterbombers had to return to the scene.

Crews on the ground near Levack. (City of Greater Sudbury Fire Service)

Sunday, July 22: 

The MNR reported that the fire is still not under control and is 53 hectares in size, however, Sunday was the first day they did not require support from the water bombers. There were unconfirmed reports that day-workers at Coleman Mine were sent home due to the amount of smoke in the area. Many residents also reported the smoke to be heavier during the day.

Monday, July 23: 

According to the MNRF interactive fire map, the fire is now being held. For the first time in weeks, the Sudbury region has now been lowered to a moderate fire danger rating. Earlier last week, the entire province of Ontario was rated as extreme.

Tuesday, July 24:

No formal update on the status of “Sudbury 83” has been provided yet today. The MNRF interactive fire map still shows that the fire is 53 hectares and being held. Due to extreme fire hazard, recent periods of lightning, little rain, and increased forest fires, the Greater Sudbury region remains in the Restricted Fire Zone as outlined on the map above.

Wednesday, July 25: 

This morning, a Fire Information Officer from the MNRF was able to provide an update to The Onaping Falls News about the status of the forest fire burning north of Levack. We can confirm that the status remains as being held at 53 hectares. What this means is that the fire is in between being out of control and under control and that it has not spread in the last two days.

Ground crews are confident that it will not spread any further and that they will be able to get it under control soon, however, there is still a possibility that the winds and weather conditions may change and the fire can spread.

Residents can call 705-564-6156 for information on the fire “Sudbury 83,” but we have been advised that with the severity of fires in our region such as Parry Sound 33, the updates have been far and few between and the best place to find up-to-date information is on the MNRF interactive fire map which we have diligently been motoring over the last few days.

Thursday, July 26:

The status of the fire is now under control. You may see MNRF and fire services in the community and the occasional smoke haze as the fire is still burning, but crews have it contained and will continue to work diligently until it’s out. A reminder that the are is still under a burn ban. Please be mindful of cigarette butts and so not start a fire, even if it’s covered.

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