“Ontario’s fire rangers and support staff demonstrated extraordinary courage and dedication as they overcame the hazards of an unusually hot and dry fire season,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “They have made Ontario proud as they adapted to unprecedented challenges to protect our natural resources, at-risk communities, and businesses.”
Severe drought and dry weather conditions that began in July led to a record 1,198 fires, including a 200,000-hectare fire – one of the largest in Ontario’s history. In response to the situation, the province issued an emergency order for Northwestern Ontario, and called upon fire crews from the United States, Mexico, and Australia for assistance.
“We are deeply thankful to all members of our fire staff and the staff of our national and international partners,” said Minister Rickford. “Our thanks and appreciation also go out to local businesses that worked with the province to protect their communities during these trying times. Our hearts go out to Indigenous communities affected by this historic season. They faced hardship, enduring the pain of being separated from their homes, families and communities.”
Ontario is an internationally recognized leader in wildland fire management and coordinates the protection of 90 million hectares of Crown land in Ontario. This year the province was supported by approximately 2,500 personnel, including FireRangers, fire management support staff, out-of-province personnel, as well as dozens of pilots and engineers.