Ontario has sent 19 specially trained personnel to assist firefighting efforts in Oregon, the province announced on Friday, Sept. 18.
Smoke from the devastating wildfires in the western US has spread across North America and even across the Atlantic Ocean into Europe.
“Our hearts go out to the people of California, Oregon, and Washington as they battle devastating and unprecedented wildfires, in addition to the challenges they face with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski jointly stated.
Spirit of cooperation
The firefighters were deployed on Thursday, Sept. 17 and will assist ground operations at the Holiday Farm fire near Redmond, Oregon.
Ontario is an internationally recognized leader in wildland fire management with staff who are highly trained and skilled in fighting wildfires, officials stated.
“We have been working together with other provinces and territories to field a Canadian team to support the firefighting efforts in Oregon … In the spirit of cooperation, we want to do what we can to help our neighbours to the south during this difficult time.”
Officials thanked those traveling stateside for “showing the true Ontario spirit” by stepping up at this critical time. “We wish them success in their mission and look forward to their safe return.”