News Rain and firefighters progress battling Northern Ontario forest fires SHARE ON: Rosalind Russell, staff Tuesday, Aug. 7th, 2018 OPP is keeping a close eye on Highway 69. Photo provided The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is reporting there has been a slight decrease in the number of fires and the biggest fire in the northeast is no longer out of control. As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 120 active fires, including 76 in the northwest region and 44 in the northeast. Fire information officer Shayne McCool said the largest fire in the northeast, known as North Bay 72, about 30 kilometres west of Temiskaming Shores, is no longer out of control. That fire began on July 8th and covers about 272 square kilometres. Meanwhile, Parry Sound Fire33 is about 113 square kilometres and remains out of control. However, McCool says the ministry said crews now have hose lines around the perimeter. An evacuation order for residents of several communities in the French River area remains in effect and as do numerous travel restrictions, as well as the total fire ban across the northeast. McCool adds there have been 918 forest fires so far this year compared to 354 in 2017.