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Ontario sending resources to Alberta to help battle forest fires

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will send 117 staff to help tackle forest fires in Alberta. 

Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Graydon Smith, who also serves as the Minister for the MNRF, announced the news during Monday’s Question Period session at Queen’s Park in Toronto. 

“Alberta is going through an incredibly difficult and unprecedented wildfire season,” said Smith. 

According to Alberta Emergency Alert, a provincial state of emergency has been declared amidst hot and dry conditions resulting in numerous wildfires. 

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He says the staff being sent are part of one of the “numerous” mutual aid agreements Ontario has with provinces and other countries around the world. 

“We’ll continue to stay in close contact with Alberta,” said Smith, adding they will be ready to help any displaced Albertans. 

The federal government announced last week it will be sending an unspecified amount of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel and resources to help. Minister of National Defence Anita Anand said the CAF will be there for an initial period of two weeks but that could be extended by a week if needed. 

Meanwhile, in Ontario, Smith said that the province has been fortunate to have had a slow start to forest fire season. 

The MNRF’s forest fire map shows only six active fires as of Wednesday morning. 

Smith noted the province recently held a recruitment and retention program to ensure they have enough staff on the ground in Ontario to be able to support other areas, like Alberta, that may need support. 

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