The forest fire known as Parry Sound 33 is proving to be hard to fight as smoke from the burning trees threatens to close Highway 69.

Since Sunday the fire has grown almost 20 percent and is now five kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway.

On Sunday it was seven kilometres from the roadway and 7,651 hectares large.

It’s now 8,973 hectares in size and remains out of control.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has said if smoke from the fire continues to worsen, the OPP may have to shut down part of Highway 69.

The affect forest fire smoke is having in the area. Katlyn Marie took this shot as you leave Sturgeon Falls and head toward North Bay.

The forest fires in the Parry Sound cluster as well as those in the Lady Evelyn and Pembroke clusters remain priority areas.

The MNRF no longer considers the fires in the River Valley cluster priorities and removed the priority classification from the Temagami cluster fires over the weekend.

Meanwhile residents in the Alban area have been put on evacuation alert.

This is the first step before an evacuation order.

If the alert becomes an order to leave, residents will have 24 hours notice.

The municipality is asking Alban-area homeowners to let it know if they decide to leave before the evacuation order is issued.

This way municipal officials will know you have left and won’t spend time trying to look for you in case they think you’re somewhere in the Alban area.

The number to call is 898-2294 to tell someone you are leaving.

Leave a message if no one answers.

As of midnight Monday, there were 41 forest fires in the northeast with 15 of them out of control.

(Written By: Rocco Frangione)