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ONTARIO: Wind turbine project may be to blame for large Parry Sound forest fire, says report

'I think the project should be shut down,' says worker on Henvey Inlet project
Supplied photo

An investigation is underway into whether construction on a large wind-turbine project on Henvey Inlet First Nation is to blame for the Parry Sound 33 forest fire, according to a national CBC report.

That forest fire, located in the Key River/French River/Henvey Inlet area, is now 5,612 hectares in size.

Workers on the project said that despite tinder-dry conditions and a fire ban, crews continued to blast rock and use heavy machinery, setting off several small fires last week.

They told CBC they heard on a two-way radio there was an Argo (all-terrain vehicle) that broke down in the bush where the fire began.

"I think that the job should be shut down," the worker reportedly told CBC reporter Dave Seglins. "I think those that they knew the consequence of this (and) just kept going and ignored the problem at hand ... should be held responsible for this."

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry spokesperson Shayne McCool said that at this time the fire's cause is listed as “unknown,” and is under investigation. 

The U.S.-based Pattern Energy Group, which is developing the Henvey Inlet wind project, declined to comment on what role its contractors may have played in starting the fire, but a company spokesperson said construction is currently shut down at the site.