Five new small forest fires had lit up in Northwestern Ontario by Thursday afternoon, including one near Thunder Bay, said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The fires were all less than one hectare in size. The Thunder Bay fire, known as No. 13, was burning north of Silver Lake.

A cause of the fires wasn’t released Thursday. But lightning strikes are believed to have been a factor in three out of four new small forest fires that lit up late Wednesday in the Red Lake, Dryden, Fort Frances and Kenora districts, the ministry says.

The cause of the other fire on a Rainy Lake Island — known as Forest Frances No. 7 — wasn’t known Thursday.

As of Thursday, there were 16 fires burning in Northwestern Ontario. None were threatening any communities.

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