Ontario Helps British Columbia And Alberta Fight Forest Fires
McGuinty Government Sends Crews And Aircraft West To Battle Fires
Steadily high winds, dry conditions and soaring temperatures have created a challenging fire season for British Columbia and Alberta.
To help provide relief, Ontario is sharing its fire-fighting resources, sending 296 forest fire fighters and three aircraft to help British Columbia and Alberta deal with their difficult fire seasons. This includes:
- 178 FireRangers to aid British Columbia's efforts, and
- 118 ground personnel, including FireRangers and support staff, two CL-415 waterbombers and a bird-dog aircraft to aid Alberta's efforts.
Ontario sent 114 personnel to Prince George, British Columbia, on June 16, including FireRangers and support staff. They will join 64 others who have been in BC since June 12 for a total of 178 Ontario personnel supporting the firefighting efforts in that province. Two CL-415 water bombers and a bird-dog aircraft travelled to Alberta on June 16. The fire personnel destined for Alberta will arrive on June 18.
- Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta all have a history of lending a helping hand fighting fires. Ontario assisted British Columbia in July 2008, and BC crews came to Ontario to assist in 2007. Ontario also helped Alberta in 2008, and Alberta crews travelled to Ontario to help out in 2007.
- Ontario's contribution to mutual support arrangements is coordinated through the Ministry of Natural Resources' Emergency Operations Centre in Sault Ste. Marie and its regional fire centres in Dryden and Sudbury.
- The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre coordinates the sharing of fire fighting resources among Canadian provinces and territories and between Canadian and United States jurisdictions.
“We are pleased to be in a position to help out other provinces with their challenging fire season. The hard work of our crews and leaders during their training combined with their past experience and high skill levels make Ontario crews a welcome resource when we go to other jurisdictions.”