Money earmarked for fire complex

The Ontario government is making northern communities safer, and increasing protection for the region’s forest resources, by investing $4.4 million in the forest fire management complex at Red Lake, Natural Resources minister David Ramsay announced Thursday.
“The Red Lake staff quarters will keep fire response staff close at hand, making fire operations more efficient and effective,” said Ramsay.
“The government is working on behalf of northerners to overcome the unique challenges of Northern Ontario and build stronger northern communities,” he added.
The new staff quarters will replace the existing aged and deteriorated facility that supports about 60 fire and aviation personnel during the forest fire season.
The new quarters will provide accommodations, washrooms, kitchen and dining facilities, and a common area.
Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin by mid-September and be completed by June, 2007.
The project is part of “ReNew Ontario”—the McGuinty government’s strategic five-year, $30-billion infrastructure investment plan.
“The Ontario government is committed to investing in essential infrastructure in Northwestern Ontario,” said Public Infrastructure Renewal minister David Caplan.
“We’re helping communities in the north protect the health and safety of their residents, as well as the northern economy and environment,” he noted.
In addition, the government will be replacing the existing fire management complex in Sioux Lookout, which is more than 50 years old.
Planning is scheduled to continue over the next two years, with construction of the new facility tentatively scheduled to start in fiscal year 2009/10.
“The planned new facilities will increase efficiency and operating capacity, provide upgraded technology, and better support modern forest fire operations in Sioux Lookout,” said Ramsay.
“The good work of our firefighters in battling the many recent forest fires in Northwestern Ontario shows the importance of effective support for fire staff.”