Category Archives: Ontario

BC/ON | Fire personnel from Ontario head to British Columbia

Due to an elevated wildfire risk in British Columbia, the Wildfire Management Branch has requested the assistance of 21 out-of-province personnel to aid with fire suppression efforts.

“Because of this extended stretch of hot and dry weather, we’re asking for additional assistance from Ontario. I’d also like to remind British Columbians to be extra vigilant while enjoying the outdoors this weekend and to fully extinguish any campfires before leaving them,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Hot and dry weather conditions are expected throughout the province this weekend, with a potential for thunderstorm activity to bring dry lightning to southwestern B.C. With this forecast in mind, fire officials are preparing for a potentially significant increase in fire activity.

One Incident Management Team from Ontario and other specialized personnel will be arriving in B.C. on Sunday, July 13, 2014. They will initially be stationed in Kamloops and deployed elsewhere as determined by current fire activity and projected need. Firefighting crews will be on standby in all six of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for an anticipated increase in fire starts.

Fire danger ratings in the province are currently “moderate” to “high”, with many pockets of “extreme”. The forecasted drying trend will increase this fire danger rating, making forest fuels very receptive to ignition.

While there are currently no provincial campfire prohibitions in effect, the public is asked to take precautions when lighting fires of any size. Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire. Please make sure your campfire is kept small, safe and supervised at all times.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

Ontario | Flood warning – Fort Frances District

The Ministry of Natural Resources – Fort Frances District is reminding area residents that the Flood Warning is in still effect for the Atikokan, Fort Frances, and Rainy River areas.

Recent rainfall has resulted in very high inflow conditions throughout all watersheds within the District, including the Seine River, Atikokan River, Rainy Lake, and Lake of the Woods. Water levels in Rainy Lake and the Rainy River are expected to rise and the weather forecast is showing the potential for further rainfall accumulations for the area. Given the volume of water upstream in the system further impacts are likely. MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions.

Public Safety
Extreme caution is advised:
Around any fast moving creeks and rivers;
On area lakes due to the potential for submerged hazards and floating debris; and
On all forest access roads due to the potential for water on roads, washouts and heavy rutting.

The public should avoid travelling on unfamiliar roads or crossing any submerged roads as there may be a risk to traveler safety. Barricades are erected at roads where known washouts or dangerous driving conditions have been observed. The MNR, Resolute Forest Products and Rainy Lake Tribal Resource Management Inc. are monitoring forest resource access roads in the area to identify hazards.

Dams and Waterways

On controlled water systems within the District, MNR is currently managing water control structures, in partnership with operators, to mitigate impacts and minimize flows into Rainy Lake. We share information and monitor current water levels on non-MNR controlled systems through interaction with the International Rainy – Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

Protection of Infrastructure and Emergency Assistance

MNR is ready to respond to protect and repair crown roads, bridges and infrastructure impacted by flooding. We are also working closely with Unincorporated, First Nations, and Municipal Emergency response partners to provide information/ assistance and resources as we are able. To date MNR has provided personnel and resources (including over 75,000 sandbags) to unincorporated area fire departments, Municipalities and First Nations communities.

Individual property owners are encouraged to continue to purchase sand bags from local suppliers to protect their shoreline property, or contact their local fire department or emergency response organizations where local supplies have been exhausted and where an emergency situation is imminent.

Shoreline structures (e.g. sheds, pumphouses, boathouses, saunas etc) are often used as storage facilities for substances that may be harmful to the lake. Residents should remove any potential contaminants (e.g. gas, oil, pesticides, chemicals etc) from these areas and take measures to ensure they do not contaminate the lake ecosystem.

Weather Situation/Forecast

An active low pressure system in northwest Ontario brought with it rainfall amounts ranging from 10 mm – 170 + mm throughout the Rainy River / Fort Frances / Atikokan areas between June 11 -16th. Rainfall is expected to begin later today, and continue for the next few days;  rainfall amounts of 20 – 40 mm (cumulative) are expected.

Further updates will be issued as appropriate. Listen to local media for updates or call 511 for road closure information.

Resources

The latest information lake levels, dam settings, and basin flows can be found online at

http://www.ijc.org/en_/RLWWB

Ontario | Tornado in Angus rated as EF2

Essa Township has declared an emergency following a tornado which tore through a section of the town of Angus.  Environment Canada has confirmed an EF2 tornado hit the community.

This type of tornado usually brings wind speeds between 178 and 217 km/h.

There are no reports of serious injuries or deaths but some Angus residents suffered minor injuries when roofs and house sidings were sheared off homes. Between 80 and 100 houses have been damaged according to local officials and the Ontario Provincial Police. Residents who cannot return home can find refuge at the Angus Arena on County Road 21.

Hydro One estimates that power will be restored to customers in Essa Township who are still without electricity by this evening.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management has deployed a field officer to Angus to provide advice to local officials.

Ontarians are encouraged to stay aware of weather alerts issued by Environment Canada or the Weather Network and learn how to prepare for severe weather.

Ontario | City of Hamilton lends support in Angus to assess tornado damage

The City of Hamilton is offering its support to the Town of Angus following a powerful tornado that struck on Tuesday evening and damaged hundreds of buildings, including homes.

Earlier today, Ontario Building Officials Association President, Mr. Mike Seiling, contacted City of Hamilton’s Planning and Economic Development staff to request assistance in assessing the damage and to help expedite building permits to repair salvageable homes.

The City of Hamilton is pleased to announce that its Chief Building Engineer, George Wong P. Eng. will be travelling to Angus tomorrow morning to begin the significant work of making a structural determination on whether a damaged building is fit for occupancy and what repairs will be required.

“This has surely been a very difficult time for residents of Angus who have been forced to vacate their homes and businesses,” says Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina. “I extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Wong for volunteering his skills and expertise in helping these residents return to their homes and places of work as quickly as possible. He represents the willing and helpful staff we’re proud to have in Hamilton’s Planning and Economic Development Department.”

Ontario | Premier’s statement on the tornado in Simcoe County

Premier Kathleen Wynne issued the following statement in response to the severe weather that affected parts of Ontario:

“Today, the people of Angus and other communities across Ontario are dealing with the shock and devastation caused by last night’s tornado and severe thunderstorms.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their homes, and I will be visiting the area in the coming days to offer my support. Provincial officials, including those from the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, are on the ground working closely with local representatives to assist the community.

Thousands of homes have been left without power. Hydro One crews have made significant progress restoring power and are working as quickly as possible to bring everyone back online.

I know that the people of Ontario are strong. The community has pulled together and is rallying around those who have been most impacted by the storm. This caring and compassion will help them as they rebuild.”

Ontario | Fire safety awareness events planned for Toronto residents

Toronto Fire Services’ Safety Awareness Week starts Monday, June 9, with public events that day as well as on June 10, 11, 12 and 14.

This year, Fire Services is targeting highrise residents. In the past, the week’s education efforts have focused mainly on single-family dwellings. About half of Toronto residents live in highrise apartment/condominium buildings.

Safety Awareness Week is run by Fire Services’ Fire Prevention division and Public Education section to provide communities with effective education on fire safety. Next week, working with Toronto Community Housing highrise properties, Fire Services staff will go door-to-door handing out a new highrise fire survival brochure called Fire in Your Highrise.

At each of the events at the apartment buildings listed below, Fire Services with the support of Enbridge Gas will offer free hotdogs, and there will be an inflatable fire truck, temporary tattoos, stickers and colouring books to engage young visitors. Schedule:

Monday, June 9: West Command event at 30 Falstaff Ave.
Event time: 5 to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, June 10: East Command event at 30 Gordonridge Place
Event time: 5 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday June 11: South Command event at 275 Shuter St.
Event time: 5 to 8 p.m.

Thursday June 12: North Command event at 15 Tobermory Dr.
Event time: 5 to 8 p.m.

Saturday June 14: South Command event at 285 Shuter Street
Event time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ontario | Hamilton – Firefighter recruitment information meetings

If you are looking for an exciting career in firefighting, then look no further than the City of Hamilton.

The Hamilton Fire Department is looking for highly motivated men and women who are dedicated to serving the needs of the community to be a part of our team.  If this describes you, then consider becoming a Hamilton firefighter.

In order to ensure that all applicants understand the required qualifications and the recruitment process, we invite those interested to attend one of two scheduled career firefighter recruitment information meetings. These meetings will also provide applicants the opportunity to hear from current firefighters about their profession and the steps they took to become a Hamilton firefighter.

The information meetings are scheduled as follows:

Date:               Monday June 9th, 2014
Time:              7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location:        Multi-Agency Training Centre
(Bldg ‘C’ – Indoor Training Complex)
1227 Stone Church Road East (at Nebo Road), Hamilton, Ontario

Date:               Wednesday June 11th, 2014
Time:               7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location:         Sir John A. MacDonald High School (Auditorium)
130 York Boulevard, Hamilton, Ontario

In addition to firefighters who have recently graduated from the recruit training program, past training instructors and senior management staff from the Hamilton Fire Department will be on hand to provide information on the 2014 recruitment process. They will be joined by a Staffing/Workplace Planning Specialist from the City of Hamilton, Human Resources Division to answer all of your questions. While attendance at these meetings is optional, we encourage those interested to attend at least one session to get more information and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Additional recruitment information will be posted at:  www.hamilton.ca/fire or www.hamilton.ca/careers

Ontario | London – City launches backyard swimming pool safety awareness program

Today the City of London’s Aquatic Services launched the On Guard backyard swimming pool safety program designed to encourage pool owners to be vigilant while supervising swimmers – specifically children and non-swimmers.

London residents who had a swimming pool installed in 2012 and 2013, and applied for a pool fence permit will be mailed the On Guard backyard pool safety information kit this week. Enclosed in the mailing is pool safety information and the On Guard card. The On Guard card is meant to be worn by the person supervising swimming at that residence.

“We are asking Londoners who receive the On Guard card to designate someone to wear it while swimming activities are taking place. If you’ve got the card – then you’re on guard!” said Lynn Loubert, Division Manager Aquatics with the City of London. “483 people drowned in Canada in 2011 – 160 of those occurred in Ontario. Trends from 2007-2011 show that 10% of Ontario’s total drownings occurred in private pools. Anything we can do to prevent this from occurring is a positive step in keeping Londoners safe in and around the water.”

The On Guard card and safety information is available to all residential pool owners. Submit a request by email to aquatics@london.ca or call 519-661-4455.

Ontario | Attawapiskat latest First Nation community to declare emergency due to flooding

The leadership of the Attawapiskat First Nation has declared an emergency due to the high risk of flooding. The Chief and Council have requested the evacuation of approximately 1,000 vulnerable residents.  The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is coordinating the evacuation with provincial ministries, federal departments and potential host communities.

Approximately 100 residents were evacuated to Kirkland Lake throughout the night and the plan is to airlift the remaining 800 vulnerable residents in the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the evacuation of residents from the Kashechewan First Nation is complete with just a few community members and band officials left behind to look after local infrastructure. Efforts are being made to reunite Kashechewan family members who were sent to different host communities.

Declared Emergencies

Attawapiskat First Nation (new)
Kashechewan First Nation
Pic Mobert First Nation (near Lake Superior, for anticipated flooding)
Kapuskasing (host community)
Greenstone (host community)
Thunder Bay (host community)

Ontario | Canadian Red Cross disaster responders to assist Torontonians in times of emergencies

Canadian Red Cross disaster response volunteers are ready to deploy around-the-clock to provide humanitarian assistance in Toronto, as part of a new partnership between the Canadian Red Cross and the City of Toronto. The new partnership came into effect May 1, 2014.

“With this new partnership, Torontonians affected by disasters, such as fire, floods or lengthy power outages will have the support of the Red Cross when they need it most,” said Louise Geoffrion, acting provincial director of disaster management, Canadian Red Cross.

“During the December ice storm, the City and the Canadian Red Cross worked very closely together to set up reception centres so that residents had a warm and safe place to go,” said Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. “Under this new agreement, we will be able to continue to work together to ensure that residents will have support and access to vital services during an emergency.”

The Canadian Red Cross has a long-standing relationship with the City of Toronto, however, under the new agreement there is now a standardized approach for the Red Cross to support the City in large-scale responses. The Red Cross will also be called on more frequently to help Torontonians affected by personal disasters such as fire or flooding that forces them to evacuate their homes.

“Over the years, the City and the Canadian Red Cross have developed a strong working relationship and the Red Cross has provided emergency support to the City on many occasions,” said City Manager Joe Pennachetti. “This memorandum of understanding formalizes our partnership and ensures that the City has the resources in place when responding to large-scale emergencies.”

The Canadian Red Cross is able to respond to disasters thanks to its network of highly trained disaster response volunteers. In order to ensure rapid deployment in Toronto, the Red Cross has built a hospitality suite for its volunteers at its office on Randolph Avenue equipped with beds, showers and a lounge area. On-call Red Cross disaster responders may stay at the hospitality suite on shifts, ready to deploy as needed.

Recent severe storms in Toronto and the GTA, including the summer flash flooding and the December ice storm remind Torontonians that the City is not immune to disaster. During the December ice storm, the Red Cross working closely with the City of Toronto assisted over 4,600 residents in the city and across the GTA. In addition to managing warming shelters and reception centres, the Red Cross provided 3,000 blankets, 2,700 comfort kits, 1,500 cots and served over 20,000 meals during the ice storm response.