More than 50 forest firefighters have been redeployed to Ottawa as the Canadian capital continues to reel from a deadly storm that swept through southern Ontario on May 21.
The storm killed 11 people in Ontario and Quebec and left hundreds of thousands without power. At the beginning of June, Hydro Ottawa was still working to restore power to all its customers.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry confirmed to Global News that crews of fire rangers, generally deployed to fight forest fires in the north, had been sent to help out in Ottawa.
Hydro Ottawa close to restoring all power after deadly storm on May 21
On May 27, the province sent a total of 10 crews — five from the northwest region and five from the northeast — to Ottawa. They also dispatched two task force leaders and five overhead personnel for a total of 52 staff.
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Firefighters were sent from Sudbury, Sioux Lookout and Cochrane among other locations.
The deployment was made after a request from the City of Ottawa, the province said.
Crews are being used to clear debris and trees from roads, parks, trails, playgrounds and sidewalks “under the direction of City of Ottawa staff and in support of Hydro’s efforts to repair transmission lines,” the spokesperson said.
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The first crew was replaced on June 4, with fire rangers returning to their bases as new staff drafted in. The new contingent is expected to remain in Ottawa for seven to 10 days depending how much work remains.
“Other refreshed crews and personnel may be deployed to take over and provide rest for staff currently in Ottawa supporting the storm response,” the province said.
Hydro Ottawa says power restoration after storm will ‘likely be a 3 to 4 day event’
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