Newspaper article The Canadian Press

State of Emergency Lifted in Timmins, Ont., after Rain Dampens Forest Fires: State of Emergency Lifted in Timmins, Ont

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

State of Emergency Lifted in Timmins, Ont., after Rain Dampens Forest Fires: State of Emergency Lifted in Timmins, Ont

Article excerpt

TIMMINS, Ont. - The state of emergency has been lifted in Timmins, Ont., after rain helped dampen forest fires that had been raging in northeastern Ontario.

In Kirkland Lake, where an emergency continues, police say they believe a large forest fire there was started by people camping in a popular recreational area.

In Timmins, Mayor Tom Laughren told a news conference Monday that he had just signed an order lifting the emergency.

"With the aggressive suppression effort, the city of Timmins is in no imminent danger," Laughren said.

"This morning -- I just signed it at 10 o'clock -- we are lifting the state of emergency for the city of Timmins."

Cooler temperatures and rain that fell through late Sunday and early Monday morning helped efforts to suppress the fire, Laughren said.

The fire has not grown since Saturday and remains around 39,500 hectares, about 30 kilometres away from the centre of Timmins, he said.

Weaker winds and cloud cover are helping to keep smoke away from the city of 43,000. In the meantime, Laughren said, 25 four-person fire ranger crews from Ontario and 20 four-person crews from British Columbia are continuing to fight on the front lines of the fire.

Emergency officials say while conditions have improved, the crisis is far from over, and access to at-risk areas will be limited for some time.

Meanwhile in Kirkland Lake to the southeast, Mayor Bill Enouy said officials were keeping their state of emergency in place.

"We decided that we can't drop the state of emergency at this time, even though Timmins is dropping theirs," he said, explaining that the Kirkland Lake fire is situated much closer to where people live.

The 2,600-hectare fire is just three kilometres outside the town, and while some areas were deemed safe by Sunday night, it's still too early to drop the emergency, said Enouy. …

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