I saw how dry everything was on my recent trip, just walking around camp you'd be kicking up a dust storm and even the grass and brush had a very "wilted" look to them.
With another trip in a couple of weeks I guess I can count on the fire ban still being active. Any speculation on when we will get enough rain to cancel the ban and get back to having camp fires again?
I'm going to go out on a limb and say we'll be into the middle of September before we see the lifting of the fire ban in Algonquin Park.
Kind of like an ice-out competition...but my vote is for August 11th...since we're going in around the 12th. I really enjoy the ambience of a campfire while camping. It really makes me feel connected to generations from eons ago where it provided warmth, protection and light for sharing an experience.
Maybe they'll partially lift the ban and say "no Guncho approved fires"?
Does anyone know what effect all that fire fighting and water bombing activity would have on the general vicinity ? How long after the fire is out would the smell of smoke hang in the air ? What about wildlife activity/viewing ? I know serious forest fires can have a very broad impact with smoke visible and in the air for a very long way. Any idea what a trip into the East Side would be like if it opened in the next few days or so ?
From my very limited experience, the smoke should dissipate with normal winds in a couple days unless it's a LARGE fire, which most of the reported ones are not. The largest one, outside the park, is downwind of typical easterly winds so even the aroma of charred wood should usually travel east and away from the park.
The aroma that will linger will typically be within the immediate area of the burn and perhaps immediately downwind. I would not expect that you'll have even minimal impact on camping areas both interior and campground based.
As they have reported, they are erring on the side of caution due to the challenges that are posed by a widely distributed public in that area of the park. It would be very challenging to evacuate the broadly distributed interior campers so they have shut down the region in hopes that the conditions will improve and the risk will be lessened in the near future.
I would expect that any signs of fire will be few and far between for the majority of trippers in the park (even on the most impacted east side).
I don't know...forecast looks like chance of rain most days in the neighborhood of 30% to 60%. I think the park will require a broad range of soaking rain and not what like they're calling for in the forecast. That being said, I hope it does come down in buckets and they lift the ban. It will save me from lugging all that fuel!
Similar obligatory apologies to those camping, hopefully, in the rain this week!
Good news but I'll admit that I'm surprised. I didn't think that there had been anywhere near enough rain to reduce the fire hazard. I know darn well that the surrounding townships aren't going to be listing their bans yet.
It's not posted on the Algonquin Park website as yet. (1:30 pm today)
I like the "optimism" posted on the MNR site:
Tuesday August 7 was a light day for fires with only six new starts in the province. Four of the new arrivals were in the Northwest Region and the remaining two in the Northeast. The number of active fires in the province has fallen slightly to 8.
Seems premature to lift the Fire Ban in Algonquin. But money talks, and I bet the customers haven't been happy not having their campfires in this hot weather.
Going into the long weekend Algonquin Park was the only spot in Ontario that was under a restricted fire zone order. All other spots have been slowly dropping off the map/list. Local towns might have their fire bans but the MNR only Algonquin.
I spent the weekend in and around Kiosk Lake and was surprised how green everything was - greener than the Toronto area. Also surprised that everyday we saw the MNR plane flying overhead looking for fires (and not spending their time in the drier regions of the park)
I thought the fire ban would have been lifted (or partially lifted) on Tuesday - just after the long weekend was over.
We saw the helicopter flying over the east side, I think it was Sunday morning when we were still on Whitson. Given the thunderstorm with very little rain Saturday night, it makes sense they were checking. Every township from Petawawa back down to Tudor-Cashel still had their Total Fire Ban signs up.
Drat, missed it by a month. We were in central Algonquin this past weekend and with the huge thunderstorm that rolled through on Saturday night felt that it was getting to the point where the ban could be lifted.
At least we know we can have fires for Part Two of the Meanest Link, was getting worried about that.
I can also confirm that it's changed since Laine posted it and I first looked.
Smedley - We had a thunderstorm go through on Saturday night while on the lower Petawawa but only got a bit of drizzle. By morning you couldn't even tell that it had rained. We got a bit more rain on Sunday but still no more than an hours worth at most. Good news is that it seems to be a lot damper this week.
I dont think that the maps are inconsistent. Just maps with different types of information. The one indicates that the fire hazard is moderate however the other indicates that there are still fire restrictions in place for Algonquin Park even though the fire hazard apparently is moderate?
"Apparently" is the key word. The inconsistency is "apparent" because of our general expectation that if the danger is "moderate", then surely the ban deserves lifting?
As Leo states, there are two different types of information being presented on the two maps, involving different "durations". If the danger is "moderate" today because of recent "moderate" rainfall, then the danger could quickly return to "extreme" after a couple of days of drying wind.
The level of danger can vary up and down relatively quickly depending on the degree of soaking by rain.
However, a fire ban is only called when the "dryness" has permeated both the ground and the vegetation. A fire ban usually isn't called off until the vegetation, upper soils, subsoils and even ground water is well replenished.
A couple of days of good rain are "apparently" coming along soon. Let's hope it brings back substantial moisture levels and results in the lifting of the fire ban!
Seeing how I leave tomorrow morning for Algonquin I can't begin to explain how excited I am by this news. I had already come to accept that I would not be able to make a fire. Now if I could just get some clear skies to watch the perseids...
It's a dynamic situation involving many moving parts and different organizations. A plausible explanation is that an internal announcement was made yesterday that the ban would be lifted. It was then accidentally loaded onto the MNR forestry services external site before formal announcement was intended. Shortly after that, it was pulled back pending announcement today.
Subsequently it has been announced today by the FoAP site and, I expect, will appear on the daily update on the MNR forestry services site later today. These are large organizations with many moving parts and human involvement that make them inherently error prone. I think our expectations may be a somewhat high if we anticipate a unified responses of electronic postings/announcements.
We just got back from the park and I noticed on the way back I saw that they had put the fire rating back to extreme ... this rating sign was not in Algonquin but not too far down the road towards Renfrew ... on the way in (thurs) it was just at high ... any rumours out there if there's another fire ban coming soon?