530 fires burn approximately 269,600 hectares of land
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO November 4, 2019 –(LSN) – October 31 marked the end of this year's wildland fire season — a season that saw more than 530 fires burn approximately 269,600 hectares of land.
While this year's fire season was lighter in terms of total number of fires than last year when more than 1,000 wildland fires burned in central and northern Ontario, several large fires this year affected people and businesses in the North.
The government provided an additional $60 million to fight forest fires through the 2019 season, during which almost the same amount of landscape was burned compared to last year.
Two large fires burned in the Red Lake area, in total scorching more than 140,000 hectares of land and forcing the evacuation of almost half of the Pikangikum First Nation population.
"Our first priority is public safety," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "We are committed to protecting people and property from wildfires and preserving our natural resources and Crown forests."
Ontario is recognized worldwide for its expertise in wildland fire management. As well as fighting fires in Ontario, fire rangers support other provinces and territories when there is a need. This year, 457 Ontario fire rangers and 118 support staff assisted in Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Yukon.
"Our hardworking fire rangers play an important part in protecting Ontario's rich forest heritage and the economic, social and environmental benefits forests provide," said Minister Yakabuski.
The ministry has a fleet of aircraft consisting of 29 planes used to detect fires, drop water and transport crews and cargo, as well as 13 helicopters used for attacking fires, training, and transporting cargo and crews.
For more information on wildfires, please visit www.ontario.ca/forestfires
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