State of emergency remains in effect for Temagami

Fire crews are still working to fight several forest fires in northeastern Ontario, including one threatening the community of Temagami, Ont.

Several fires burning in the area caused by lightning

On Sunday, OPP posted this photo from the town of Temagami. (Ontario Provincial Police)

Fire crews are still working to fight several forest fires in northeastern Ontario, including one threatening the community of Temagami, Ont.

On Sunday, a forest fire was started by lightning, southwest of the town, located about 100 km north of North Bay, Ont.

About 20 homes were evacuated due to the fire and the town is on standby to leave if conditions get worse.

Shayne McCool, a fire information officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, says crews from Ontario and other areas of Canada are working on battling the fires.

"We're focused on forest fires directly affecting communities, especially Temagami," he said.

"So the North Bay 69 fire is one of our top priority fires. We've had crews on that fire yesterday as well as helicopter bucketing to provide support. That fire, however, is still listed as not under control at 100 hectares."

Cautiously optimistic

McCool says as of Tuesday, there were 66 active fires in the region, with 29 of them listed as not under control.

He says lightening is the culprit for the fires in the Temagami area.

"We've also seen lightning come through in areas north of Highway 11," he said.

"We are expecting to pick up quite a few lightning fires from that area. We've also picked up some fires in south of French River to a lesser degree."

He says smoke from these fires has been wafting as far south as Muskoka.

Temagami mayor Lori Hunter says reports from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have been positive and adds she's cautiously optimistic about the situation.

"You know, there's always a caveat with that, with forest fires and weather," she said.

"It just takes a change in weather, whether it's winds or you know heat, to change things for you."

With files from Robin De Angelis and Jessica Pope

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