SooToday.com received the following letter from faithful reader Erin Brown who discovered and reported the Robertson Lake fire while hiking with her family this past weekend.
The accompanying photos were submitted by reader Michelle Fitton.
The Ministry of Natural Resources' fire report for the Northeast Region issued today follows Erin Brown's letter.
****************************** We started up Robertson Cliffs at about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
I did notice smoke in the air, but thought it was a hunter's cabin from down below.
We hiked up the mountain, all five of us plus my puppy.
We ran into two families on their way down.
We stopped at the top and took some pictures.
I came later this year then the past 10 years, my kids are a bit older now, and I wanted to get some pictures of the sunset, without walking back down in the pitch black.
We took our pictures of hawks flying and the scenery and headed back down the hill.
My son exclaimed that he could see flames and pointed.
Of course we all stopped to look.
Off about 15 feet away we could see flames licking up at the edge of the forest line before the hill.
I told my boyfriend to go over and see if he could put it out with our bottles of water... thinking that three or four bottles might make a difference.
He went over and hollered that we need to call this in right now, it's all down the side of the whole mountain.
He started running back and said we needed to get out of the bush quickly, but we for sure needed to call it in.
I took out my cell phone and called the OPP (yes I had reception 500 feet in the air in the middle of the bush - praise Bell!)
I was trying to give the OPP directions to send fire trucks, and realized that the fire was spreading rather quickly over the fallen dried leaves, and I sent my boyfriend ahead with the kids while I finished the call.
Not five minutes later, I told the officer that I also needed to get moving and if we lost connection that would be why.
I took a few pictures when I met up with my boyfriend and kids, but they didnt turn out as well.
It was getting darker in the bush and the flash couldnt quite capture through the trees.
When we got to the bottom, the fire trucks and OPP were there.
These are our pictures from Robertson Cliffs that evening. Erin Brown
****************************** Three new fires were reported on October 11.
Chapleau 20 is not under control at 0.3 hectares.
Sudbury 118 is not under control at 2.0 hectares.
Bancroft 16 has been called out.
Kirkland Lake 19, a 25-hectare fire between Gowganda and Elk Lake, is not under control.
There are five fire ranger crews fighting the fire at this time.
Timmins 34, a 40-hectare fire between the Ostrom Mill site and Highway 560, is currently not under control.
There are currently four crews assigned to suppressing the fire and waterbombers have assisted as required.
There is the possibility of smoke in the area as the fire is exhibiting low fire behaviour and is smouldering.
Highway 560 is open but drivers are asked to be cautious if there is smoke in the area.
Sault Ste. Marie 20 is a 152-hectare fire north of Goulais River in the Robertson Lake Road area.
Residents are being asked to refrain from entering the area as firefighting activity is ongoing.
The fire is currently not under control and is being actioned by three fire ranger crews and heli-bucketing as needed.
The fire is creeping and smouldering and there are no immediate values at risk.
Unseasonably warm temperatures, low relative humidity values and high winds all contributed to fires growing out of control.
Weather is expected to shift back to more seasonal values this week.
The current fire hazard across the region is moderate to high and residents who are planning to spend time in forested areas should be extremely cautious with smoking materials and ensure campfires are completely extinguished before leaving.