Forest fire fighters in Northern Ontario are engaged in a pitched battle with two big fires burning out of control near Hearst, the largest of which is estimated to be 2,574 hectares in size.

By mid-afternoon on May 26, there was one new fire burning in the region, the Ministry of Natural and Forestry has said, bringing the current number of active fires to nine — three of which are not under control.

Cochrane 7 is under control at 0.1 of a hectare. Of those burning and beside the three firefighters haven’t beaten into submission, two are being held and four are under control.

Sault Ste. Marie 18 is now being held at nine hectares, while Parry Sound 14 is under control at 1.7 hectares. Sault Ste. Marie 17 is being held at three hectares, while North Bay 8 is under control at 0.8 of a hectare. Kempville 1 is under control at one hectare.

The fires that have yet to be brought under control are farther north.

Hearst 4 is currently listed at 478 hectares and not under control. On May 25, five crews were committed to this fire and were making good progress in containing the perimeter, the ministry has said. The fire didn’t grow significantly in size on Wednesday, and crews were hoping yesterday’s rain would help them make progress in containing it.

The largest fire in the region is Hearst 5. It’s listed as not under control and is currently estimated to be 2,574 hectares in size. Fire activity on the western side increased around 2 p.m. May 25 and air attack was called in for assistance for the remainder of the afternoon. This fire grew significantly and showed intense fire behavior.

Its size and intensity has seen the ministry commit more resources to bringing it under control.

And finally Wawa 7 is currently listed as not under control at 273 hectares. Crews have made good progress on the southern fire edge near Highway 11, the ministry said in a news release. Fire Crews will continue to work this edge in an effort to minimize effects of the fire on commuters. Good progress is being reported on this fire.