More than 100 firefighters and support staff from Mexico will arrive in Toronto on Saturday to help Ontario in its fight against several large forest fires in the Northwest.

The Mexican fire crews will be briefed on fire, safety and COVID-19 protocols before receiving their fire assignments. The firefighters will be required to follow the health and safety guidelines recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and daily self-assessments. The Mexican fire crews will also remain in their own cohort.

“We are thankful for the brave efforts of Ontario’s forest firefighters and all the people that support their efforts to keep our Northern communities safe,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Keeping people safe and protecting property is our top priority.”

Due to extreme fire hazard and increased forest fire activity, an Emergency Area Order has been issued for all of Northwestern Ontario. The order will allow the ministry to take special measures to ensure the safety of people and the protection of critical infrastructure.

The Restricted Fire Zone for the Northwest remains in place, residents are reminded to do their part and refrain from having outdoor fires – this includes burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or fire pit. These restrictions are in place to reduce the number of preventable human-caused fires and lower the risk of wildfires impacting the public.

 

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