The Ontario government is safeguarding the safety of provincial fire rangers and the public by enforcing Emergency Area Orders during active forest fires.
Two corporations pleaded guilty and received a total of $8,411.25 in fines for violating requirements of orders during road closures due to forest fire emergencies.
On September 26, 2022, Ontario Corporation 1946072, operating as D. Niemi Trucking Inc, of Haileybury pleaded guilty to disobeying an order made under the Forest Fires Prevention Act and received a fine of $6,911.25.
On February 8, 2023, Ontario Corporation 281162099, operating as Cool Heat, of Timmins pleaded guilty to disobeying an order made under the Forest Fires Prevention Act and received a fine of $1,500.
The court heard that on May 18, 2022, conservation officers were patrolling a closed road in the area of Highway 560 and Nabakwasi Road in response to the Timmins 001 forest fire. All use and travel in this area was prohibited under an emergency area order unless authorized through a permit issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Officers intercepted an employee of Cool Heat Ltd. travelling in the closed area. Later that same day officers intercepted five employees of D. Niemi Trucking Inc. travelling in the closed area. Through investigation, officers determined that both corporations directed their employees to enter the closed area and drive around road closure signs and barricades without ministry authorization.
Justice of the Peace Diane Lafleur heard the case remotely over two separate dates in the Ontario Court of Justice, Gogama.
To report a natural resource problem or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit ontario.ca/mnrftips.