Major northern Ontario wildfire no longer considered out of control

A forest fire that forced hundreds of people from their homes in northern Ontario is no longer considered out of control, according to the province.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said in a news release Thursday that Parry Sound 33, which is located roughly 100 kilometres north of the Town of Parry Sound, is now “being held.”

The fire remains large – 11,362 hectares – but is now expected to stay “within the control boundaries that fire crews have established,” with continued use of water bombers and helicopters, the ministry said.

Parry Sound 33 began in mid-July, forcing nearly 200 residents of Henvey Inlet First Nation to flee their homes. More than 400 people from the sprawling Municipality of Killarney were also ordered to leave.

Henvey Inlet First Nation residents have returned home, and the ministry says it’s working to determine when other evacuees can safely return.

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Jeff Yurek called the progress “great news,” but added that the ministry’s work “isn’t done” because there are still more than 120 active fires in the province.

The Ontario government has committed $100 million in additional money to fight the fires, according to the news release.

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