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New fire staff quarters open in Pickle Lake

Archived News Release

New fire staff quarters open in Pickle Lake

McGuinty Government Strengthens Protection For Northwestern Communities And Forest Resources

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

The new staff quarters at the Pickle Lake aviation and forest fire attack base are now open.

The $4.5-million facility replaces a 60-year-old one that was deteriorating and outdated.  This is the final step in the modernization and upgrading of the Pickle Lake complex. An enlarged and relocated main building and outbuildings opened in 2004.

The staff quarters will house up to 30 seasonal firefighting staff and 12 aerial operations and support staff. 

The Pickle Lake base's strategic location gives it a critical role in ensuring a fast and efficient response by the Ministry of Natural Resources' fire management program in the northwest.

The project is part of ReNew Ontario, the McGuinty government's five-year, $30-billion-plus investment plan to upgrade and modernize Ontario's infrastructure.

Quick Facts

  • On average, more than 1,300 wildfires start each year in the area of Ontario from Georgian Bay to Hudson Bay, and about half of these are started by people.
  • Fighting forest fires in Ontario is physically demanding and often requires living in a tent in the bush for weeks at a time.
  • Anyone applying to be a seasonal firefighter must have successfully completed entry-level training to Ministry of Natural Resources standards in the maintenance and operation of equipment, the proper use of suppression hand tools, communications, camping equipment, basic fire behaviour and fire terminology.

Additional Resources


“Our fire staff have a tough job. Modern, efficient facilities help us attract and retain the skilled, experienced people we need.”

Donna Cansfield

Minister of Natural Resources

“Pickle Lake’s new staff quarters are just one example of how we are bringing our public infrastructure into the 21st century. Through programs like ReNew Ontario to upgrade infrastructure this government is committed to strengthening communities across the province.”

George Smitherman

Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure



Environment and Energy