On­tario sends fire­fight­ers to Bri­tish Columbia

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - WEATHER DON’T MISS ... - KATH­LEEN CHARLEBOIS KCharlebois@post­media.com

As for­est fires rage across Bri­tish Columbia and force thou­sands from their homes, On­tario is send­ing on-the-ground sup­port.

In a state­ment, Min­is­ter of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry said fire­fight­ing per­son­nel and equip­ment will leave for B.C. this week.

“At this time, sup­port in­cludes over 100 front­line fire­fight­ers. While the ex­act lo­ca­tions are still be­ing de­ter­mined, fire­fight­ers will be de­ployed from across On­tario,” she said, and added that the prov­ince co­or­di­nates with oth­ers through the Cana­dian In­ter­a­gency For­est Fire Cen­tre.

In its daily up­date on Sun­day, July 9, the Avi­a­tion, For­est Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices for the North­west Re­gion said On­tario re­ceived a re­quest for ap­prox­i­mately 140 staff mem­bers to as­sist in fight­ing wild­fires in B.C. Their de­ploy­ment was sched­uled for Tuesday, July 11.

“We are cur­rently in the process of as­sign­ing staff to fill spe­cific roles,” wrote Fire In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer Jonathan Scott.

“At this time, we are plan­ning to de­ploy 105 FireRangers, one In­ci­dent Management Team and addi- tional sup­port staff.”

Scott also said in an in­ter­view that the de­ploy­ment num­bers and re­sources would be split be­tween the North­east and the North­west Re­gion.

McGarry said in her state­ment that On­tario’s wild­land fire risk has been as­sessed and there are the needed re­sources at hand “to en­sure the nec­es­sary as­sis­tance for com­mu­ni­ties should we start to ex­peri- ence an es­ca­lat­ing sit­u­a­tion here in On­tario.”

On the day that B.C. of­fi­cially de­clared a state of emer­gency on Friday, July 7, 56 dif­fer­ent fires started in the prov­ince.

“Our thoughts are with the peo­ple of Bri­tish Columbia and with the emer­gency re­spon­ders who are work­ing tire­lessly day and night,” McGarry said.

FILE PHOTO/ POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

More than 140 for­est fire­fight­ers, man­agers, sup­port per­son­nel and equip­ment from North­ern On­tario de­ployed to as­sist in the in­ter-pro­vin­cial for­est fire sup­pres­sion ef­fort un­der­way in Bri­tish Columbia on Tuesday, July 11.

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