Massachusetts sends 21 firefighters to battle blaze in Northern Quebec, two are from Cape Cod

Massachusetts sends 21 firefighters to battle blaze in Northern Quebec, two are from Cape Cod

25 June 2009

published by www.capecodtoday.com


USA/Canada —

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today sent 21 state firefighters to northern Quebec to help battle the wildfires that have been raging across that Canadian province since June 19.

DCR Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan Jr. responded to a request from theNortheastern Forest Fire Protection Compact for a crew from the Commonwealth. The DCR firefighters will join crews from other New England states in a rural area near Hudson Bay, about 300 miles north of Quebec City. The area has seen more than 30 recent lightning strikes, causing fires that have been burning for nearly a week.

“We are extremely proud of the DCR firefighters who have been called upon to help the province of Quebec,” said DCR Commissioner Sullivan. “These are extremely well-trained and dedicated firefighters whose skills are needed there, and whose help, we know, is enormously appreciated.”

“We are extremely proud of the DCR firefighters who have been called upon to help the province of Quebec,” said DCR Commissioner Sullivan. “These are extremely well-trained and dedicated firefighters whose skills are needed there, and whose help, we know, is enormously appreciated.”

Massachusetts has been sending firefighters to help other states since 1985. The firefighters in question are federally certified for the work, having passed a 40-hour firefighting class and physical fitness test. All of DCR’s 34 full-time and 53 seasonal firefighters have taken the 40-hour course.

The DCR crew is called a “Type 2 hand crew,” and will engage in direct fire suppression. Crew members will work on the fire line building fire breaks, securing fire perimeters, containing fires, and protecting structures. For the most part, the firefighters will sleep in tents on the ground in fire camps.

The Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact is a partnership among the six New England states, New York, and the Canadian provinces of  New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. The Quebec Society for the Prevention of Forest Fires (La Société de Protection des Forêts Contre le Feu) will pay all expenses of the out-of-state crews, including salary, transportation, lodging, and food.


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