Discovery Air Assist With Numerous Forest Fires In Ontario

Discovery Air Assist With Numerous Forest Fires In Ontario

31 July 2011

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Canada — Discovery Air Inc. has been called in by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to help with ongoing efforts to protect residents of Northwestern Ontario’s many remote First Nations’ communities from the numerous forest fires currently raging across the region.

One of Air Tindi’s de Havilland Dash 7 aircraft has been repositioned to Ontario to aid with evacuation flights. The airplane’s short take-off and landing capabilities combined with its 46-passenger, 10,000-pound capacity made it the ideal solution for getting residents out of air-access-only communities as quickly as possible in the face of this evolving natural disaster.

“We make our home in the North and our employees, Aboriginal business partners and customers deal with the threat of forest fires every summer,” said Air Tindi President Chuck Parker. “In situations like this we all collectively understand the need to make sacrifices and act quickly to help keep fellow Northerners out of harm’s way.”

In particular, Air Tindi and its majority Aboriginal-owned partnership Tli Cho Air Inc. would like to thank Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. for its willingness to release one of the Dash 7 aircraft it has under contract so that it could be used to assist with the evacuation effort in Ontario.

“The team at Diavik was willing to work with us to come up with a slightly revised transportation schedule for the mine to accommodate our assistance in Northwestern Ontario,” said Parker. “Their flexibility during this extremely hazardous time is greatly appreciated.”

Five new fires started since Thursday, bringing the total number of active fires in the province to 106. Current and future weather forecasts continue to support fire suppression efforts.

Northwestern Ontario saw a large amount of lightning associated with light, isolated precipitation. Drought codes continue to build in the northwest; future lightning and holdovers from previous days may have potential for new fire starts.

Northeastern Ontario continues to show isolated areas of concern for fire starts. Thunderstorm activity from the west has reached the eastern part of the province today, bringing lightning and potential for new fires. Although the east will see drier weather conditions today, the province is expected to be under cloud cover for most of tomorrow. This will aid in suppression efforts on new and existing fires on the weekend.

Although there are fewer fire starts and generally reduced activity on fires burning across Ontario, much of the fire line is not yet contained and each fire will present its own challenges locally. Please ensure you check with local MNR officials for an updated account of fire activity and related safety issues on fires of concern. Some travel restrictions have been lifted. Please refer to Current Emergency Area Orders for more information.

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