During the summer of 2012, much of Canada along with Ontario recorded some of the hottest and driest conditions in recent memory. These conditions set the stage for one of the busiest fire seasons in the past decade.
Ontario’s forests cover a land equivalent the size of Italy, Germany and the Netherlands combined, reaching nearly 71 million hectares of forest. As summer storms sweep through the north, electrical storms often follow, and with them come hundreds of lightning strikes. These strikes account for many of the forest and wild fires that spring up throughout Ontario’s northern forests.
With close to 90 percent of the forests belonging to the Crown, the management and consequently its protection fall on the shoulders of the province and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Given the sheer size of this forested area, the ministry has stationed throughout the north hundreds of fire ranger and helitack fire crews that are able to deploy deep into the forested backcountry to deal with any reports or threat of fire.