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Tmmins declares State of Emergency due to forest fire

ALERT: City declares state of emergency — PHOTO GALLERY

FOREST FIRE: Kamiskotia and six other townships have been evacuated

By KYLE GENNINGS The Daily Press
May 25, 2012

The City of Timmins has declared a state of emergency, spurred by the darkened skies and billowing smoke from the Gogama-area forest fire that has been burning since Sunday.

Mayor Tom Laughren made the announcement at a press conference which brought all fire authorities together.

The state of emergency also includes an absolute water ban.

"The forest fire status is extreme, we can all see that with the smoke within the city, the fire behaviour is unpredictable. Hydro Bay has been evacuated as a precaution due to heavy smoke. Kamaskotia and six other townships are being evacuated as well, all due to heavy smoke."

The smoke was a product of the rapid growth of the blaze, referred to as Timmins 9, on the west end of the city. The 50-plus kilometre fire encompasses well over 25,000 hectares, high winds and continuing dry temperatures have fuelled the fires growth over the past four days, pushing authorities to set up a evacuation centre.

"The City of Timmins has set up a registration centre for evacuees in association with the Red Cross at the McIntyre Arena,” said Laughren. “Police will be directing people to the arena to be registered, the Red Cross will have information for them there."

Due to the high traffic on the 911 call centre line, Laughren and city council have established a fire call centre.

"The city is in the process of setting up a dedicated telephone line where updates will be available, the number will be 705-360-8720,” he said. “The voice message will be updated regularly and available 24/7, we are establishing this line for those who are without internet access.”

The city will also be posting twice daily updates to keep residents aware of the most up to date information as possible.


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Timmins No. 9 burns eastward

Fire skips highway 144 followed by Kenogamissi Lake

By KYLE GENNINGS The Daily Press
May 26, 2012

Timmins No. 9 has continued its relentless trek towards Timmins.

The fire, which started on Sunday just north of the Gogama Unit Road sprang north towards highway 101 at alarming speed, encompassing 24,000 hectares and 30 kilometres by nightfall.

In the six days since then, the fire has continued to move north, east and west slowly expanding until Friday's heavy winds (which gusted up to 60 km/h) hampered water bombing efforts and drove the flames east.

The blaze jumped hwy 144 early yesterday evening near the Cache campground, eventually jumping Kenogamissi Lake later last night.

The fire now encompasses 41, 200 hectares.

Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren hopes that Saturdays favourable weather will help the fire fighting efforts.

"The water bombers were on the eastern flank last night, the weather is looking good at this point," he said. "It is cool and damp, and the winds have died down, this is ideal water bombing weather, now all we can do is hope for tomorrows rain."

The MNR currently has 25, four man crews on the ground along with heavy equipment to try and halt the wildfires steady advance, working in conjunction with numerous helicopters and the northeastern fleet of water bombers.

The crews are working on a goods protection mandate, doing their best to protect the homes and properties of those who have been evacuated from the fire zone.

More information will become available during Saturday afternoons press conference at 1 p.m.


City in no imminent danger says Mayor Laughren in briefing at News Conference.

Mayor mentions that emergency planning is still a good idea on a personal level.

By Len Gillis -

Timmins Fire Update – Saturday May 26, 2012 – presented at 1:00 p.m. news conference.

Many Timmins residents continue to ignore the water ban put in place earlier this week Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren told a news conference at 1:00 p.m. Saturday.

The mayor said bylaw officers will be enforcing the ban and tickets will be handed to property owners who ignore the ban on all outside watering, car washing and such.

The mayor's comments were made as part of the daily media briefing held to bring city residents and the media up to date on how the city is coping with the forest fire emergency. Several members of the public showed up at the news conference, but the mayor said they would not allowed to ask questions. He said any issues they wanted to discuss could be talked about after the meeting.

"My focus is on the fire, on public safety and giving that kind of information out," said Laughren.


Laughren said the MNR teams are making progress on the fire on many front and added that "with the aggressive suppression effort, The City of Timmins is in no imminent danger."

The mayor also mentioned there is information available from the city on how to prepare for emergencies.

"If you want to re-educate yourself on emergency preparedness, there is all kinds pf documentation out there to help you do that," said Laughren.

"This means having an emergency kit and a plan so you know what to do if the call comes or if someone knocks at your door at 2:00 a.m.," said the Mayor.

"The fact the city declared a State of Emergency doesn't mean we are planning to evacuate Timmins. It means we are at the ready with external support, should the situation worsen," he added.

"At this juncture there is no immediate threat, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared," he said.

Laughren also mentioned he was concerned that private aircraft owners were seen flying over the fire zone to snap photographs.

Laughren said he is worried that such behavior could cause a program.

TIMMINS FIRE 9 Updater notes:

-Lighter winds coupled with cooler temperatures and changes in wind direction are helping today’s fire suppression efforts.

-Winds diminished in the past day and are 20-25 km/hr this morning out of the north – northeast. The stronger westerly winds gusting up to 60 km/hr yesterday afternoon impeded fire suppression efforts.

-In the past day, the fire tracked east in some areas of the eastern perimeter of the fire and crossed Hwy 144 near the Cache Campground area and McKeown Creek recreation area on Kenogamissi Lake.

-Fire suppression efforts are being concentrated on both sides of Kenogamissi Lake in these areas.

-The fire has not grown to the north over the past 24 hours.

-The fire is approximately 41,210 ha today.

-It approximately 70 km long and roughly 8-10 km wide.

-At this time, the fire is still approximately 2 km south of Hwy 101.

-It is approximately 30-35 km away from the City of Timmins.

-Values protection efforts and fireline construction continue with resources on a prioritized basis. Approximately 200 structures have been protected from the fire.

-Smoke alerts have been issued throughout the area.


-25 four-person FireRanger crews from Ontario will be working on Timmins 9 fire today.

-An additional 20 four-person crews from British Columbia will arrive later today and join the effort tomorrow.

-Full aerial suppression efforts are once again underway today.


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MNR fire situation Updater: Sunday May 27, 2012

Fire is nearly 100-thousand acres in size, but is not seen to be growing

By MNR News Release / The Timmins Times

Timmins Fire Update – Sunday May 27, 2012 – 10:30:00 am EDT

•Overall: There were four new fires in the province yesterday, all in the Northeast. Fires were reported in Cochrane (2), Sault Ste Marie (1) and Pembroke (1).


•Crews were able to map the fire yesterday; it is currently 39,518 ha.

•Calmer winds and cooler temperatures will aid in fire suppression efforts today.

•The fire did not grow overnight and is not expected to grow today.

•Crews are establishing heavy equipment controls lines using bulldozers and backhoes. Full aerial suppression efforts also underway today.

•Values protection efforts and fireline construction continue with resources on a prioritized basis.

•Approximately 200 structures have been protected from the fire.

•Efforts will be concentrated on containing the fire on the eastern flank. This includes areas west of Mattagami Lake and east of Kenogamissi Lake, as well as mopping up hot spots around Cache Campground and McKeown recreation areas. There were no major losses to the values in these two areas.

•The fire is still approximately 2 km south of Hwy 101.

•It is approximately 30-35 km away from the City of Timmins.

•Smoke alerts are still in place throughout the area. The winds have diminished and are now out of the east, helping to keep smoke away from the City of Timmins.


•Approximately 180 FireRanger personnel are working on Timmins 9 today.

•20 four-person crews from British Columbia arrived yesterday.

•Additional heavy equipment has been delivered to the fireline to assist in suppression efforts.


Timmins Fire 7

•Status: Under control and currently at 414 ha; scans found only one hotspot over past two days. Smoke monitoring continues.

Timmins Fire 10

•Status: Under control and currently at 20 ha; crew patrolling hotspots.

Timmins Fire 11

•Status: Out

Timmins Fire 12

•Status: Out

Timmins Fire 13

•Status: Out

Timmins Fire 14

•Status: Out

Timmins Fire 15

•Status: Being held and is currently at 8 ha. Crews continue to make good progress.

•To date, Old Mill Campground has not been affected.


•All existing evacuation orders remain in place.

•No further evacuations are being considered.

Road Closures

•Highway 144 and Highway 101 continue to be closed.


•The fire hazard remains high to extreme across the province. A restricted Fire Zone is in place for the Northeast Region.

•An Emergency Area Order remains place.


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State of Emergency lifted in Timmins

Battle continues with forest fire Timmins 9

May 28, 2012 | The Daily Press

The state of emergency is over.

Continued cool weather and scattered showers have brought a palpable sigh of relief to Timmins residents and those who have co-ordinated the massive effort to quell forest fire Timmins 9.

During Monday’s press conference at the McIntyre Arena, Mayor Tom Laughren announced the end of the emergency state he placed on Timmins on Friday.

“As of today, at 10 o’clock, I have lifted the state of emergency on the City of Timmins,” he said. “I have also been informed that the people of Hydro Bay will be allowed to return to their homes as soon as possible.”

This tightening of the evacuation zone came with several stipulations.

“We are allowing residents to return to their homes, but we are asking that only those who live in Hydro Bay return,” Laughren said. “We ask that they return by land and do not use their boats to reach their homes.”

Laughren and the Timmins Police Service want to make the return as simple as possible, limiting the room for error.

“We don’t want people going out sight seeing on the western edge of the lake,” he said. “We don’t want anyone to go anywhere that they might come into harms way.”

Despite the end of the state of emergency, all fire restriction zones and implementation orders on Crown land in the area remain, including the water ban.

OPP are continuing to assess the situation surrounding the reopening of Hwy. 101, examining the risk factors every four hours. Police did not project a time frame for the reopening of the highway.


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