Days of heavy rain and frequent lightning strikes have resulted in a flurry of deadly “supercells” in Ontario’s forests

The first full week of the weeklong fire ban on Ontario’s forests reached a dramatic high Saturday as the province reported its highest reported number of COvascular events since late October. There were 711….

Days of heavy rain and frequent lightning strikes have resulted in a flurry of deadly "supercells" in Ontario's forests

The first full week of the weeklong fire ban on Ontario’s forests reached a dramatic high Saturday as the province reported its highest reported number of COvascular events since late October.

There were 711.

According to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office, at least 372 occurred in the Green zone, which stretches over the western third of the province, including the provincial capital, Trenton.

“Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by these events. Through close collaboration with local emergency services and the firefighting services, we continue to work to manage this situation and limit the number of additional COvascular incidents reported,” said Kevin Hackett, the Ontario Fire Marshal.

“We will continue to take actions that minimize risks posed by the continued wet weather throughout the fire season.”

In the same zone, another 651 COvascular events occurred, or about 38 per week. Only nine incidents occurred in the Amber zone, which extends east to the capital of Kingston, a sunny tourist destination on the province’s southern border.

The incidence of COvascular incidents — the conditions under which a person has six seconds or less to avoid being directly exposed to an electrical field — was at its highest average since Oct. 30, when it hit 891 incidents each week.

The number of COvascular events declined to 472 incidents during the week of Feb. 18, which coincided with one of the coldest episodes of the Ontario wet season, characterized by a high probability of thunderstorms. The period of reporting is based on information provided by fire departments.

As of Wednesday, March 6, a total of 45 fires had been reported this season in the Green zone, with 59 in the Amber zone and one in the Amber Ontario Heights.

Because of the cold and widespread rain, firefighters have yet to respond to any fires in the Amber Ontario Heights.

There has been no reported damage to homes or any major outbreaks of wildfire, officials said.

Below is a list of reported COvascular events since Oct. 30, in case readers are interested in other settings:

Town & Country

Timberlea – Maples

Ottawa Rd, Maplesville Rd

Hagerstown Rd (a.k.a. Summerfield Rd), near a fireground

Lower Lake, a/k.a. Wilkins Hill

Havens Road, around the fireground

Rothdale, near a fireground

Piccadilly Rd, near a fireground

South Glencoe Rd, near a fireground

Liseton Rd, near a fireground

Conondale – City Park

Newlands Rd (Route 414), Maudsley Road

Cambridge, Queensville

Mississauga – North

Bowie Creek Rd, near a fireground

Riverbank Rd, near a fireground

Minardi Rd, around a fireground

Guelph Highlands

Kilimandjarra Road

Morton Manor – Metcalfe Ditch

Dufferin – Township

S. Bolton Road

Cashel Rd – Swansea

London – Township

Genesee – Township

Riverside – Middlesex

Quincott – Durham

Streetsville – Streetville

Wheatfield – Kingston-Trenton

Birchwood St – Timmins

Red Creek, near a fireground

Redbluff – Gretna

North Quarriers – Huntsville

Pyrmont

Puce St – Gibsons

Postville Rd – Ravenna

Westbank

South West Hwy – Tipperary

Windsor – City

Boat Lake – Shute Lake

While the count is constant, it is also important to note that it is based on data reported by firefighters and is not the total number of incidents.

There are approximately 2.6 million acres of forest in Ontario, including approximately 200,000 to 300,000 in the Green zone. The province has had 263 wildfires this season, most of which happened in the Amber zone, which sprawls over much of the eastern part of the province.

Although the cool wet spring weather has created new incidents of forest fires and COvascular events in recent weeks, the province’s firefighting services have taken the opportunity to concentrate their efforts on other fire situations.

As of last week, there were 30 active fires throughout the province, according to officials.

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