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Ontario fire crews return from British Columbia today

NEWS RELEASE MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES *************************** No new fires were reported in the region on September 2. The fire hazard will remain low over the next few days.
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NEWS RELEASE

MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES

*************************** No new fires were reported in the region on September 2. 

The fire hazard will remain low over the next few days.

Ontario resources will be returning from British Columbia marking the end to another significant year of support to other provinces and territories. 

Today, September 3, 178 Ontario fire rangers, an incident management team (18 people) and 12 overhead staff are scheduled to return to Ontario. 

Ontario staff and equipment have been in British Columbia since July 29, providing assistance with escalated fire activity.

This marks the conclusion of 36 continuous days of equipment and staff support to BC.

In 2009, Ontario provided 67 days of support for a total of 21,605 person days involving 1,014 individuals.

That was the largest and longest dispatch of forest fire support people and equipment in MNR history.

BC awarded Ontario with a provincial heroes and rescue award for its role in assisting to contain the 2009 fire season in BC.

This season 10,234 person days of support were provided to BC involving approximately 750 individuals, Ontario’s third largest dispatch on record (second largest was Montana, 2003 was about 15,000 person days).

Equipment will continue to be provided, a major logistical achievement.

In addition to BC, Ontario provided support this fire season to Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.

"This year was another demonstration of how the skills and experience of Ontario fire staff fit into national forest fire mutual support arrangements,” says Al Tithecott, manager, aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services of the MNR. “We’re proud of everyone who represented us so well while on an out of province assignment. We also acknowledge the extensive effort by our staff in Ontario who made it possible to send the number of people and amount of equipment that we did across the country. Out of province dispatches provide our personnel with exceptional learning experiences that will benefit our program.”

Appreciation is extended to all the British Columbia staff throughout the province and especially those at the Provincial Wildfire Coordination Centre, Cariboo Fire Centre and the associated zones for all the direction and assistance during deployment in British Columbia.

Ontario fire rangers and support staff in BC worked on many of the toughest fires there with great success, an achievement of particular personal significance for fire rangers who are marking 125th years of service this year.

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