Forest firefighters with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources work a boat near the French River in the smoke-filled air near Killarney, Ontario on July 31, 2018. (CP/Fred Thornhill)

Forest fire crews get sweet treat in gratitude

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Forest fire crews have been hard at work in many parts of Canada, but the biggest fires in British Columbia and Ontario have been burning for weeks.

“Provide you with encouragement and energy when it is needed”

For the huge fire in Ontario, known as Parry Sound 33 south of Sudbury, Ontario, a nearby resident took steps to express his gratitude.

Forest firefighters battling the biggest blaze in Ontario received a thank you from Huntsville, Ontario. Tom Stehr sent bottles (similar to these) of maple syrup as as a thank you for their hard work. (Toby Talbot/AP)

Tom Stehr, who owns Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm in Huntsville, Ontario, wanted to thank the 200 firefighters who came from across Canada, the United States, and some from as far away as Mexico.

So, he sent 180 bottles of maple syrup to them.

“The bravery and determination and perseverance that they’re showing, I just wanted to say hey, you know, people in the community care and we’re very appreciative of what you do,” Stehr told CBC News.

“Forest fighters, helicopter pilots, water bomber planes staff, medical staff, logistics staff and other organizers”

As of Friday, there were 134 fires burning in the province, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The Parry Sound fire is more than 110 square kilometres in size and has prompted evacuations in several communities.

“Hopefully it puts a smile on people’s faces,” Stehr said. “You know, they probably don’t need any extra added weight, but imagine if they had it in the pocket of their overalls and then they took a swig of it just for some extra energy.”

 “Workers include but are not limited to front line forest fighters, helicopter pilots, water bomber planes staff, medical staff, logistics staff and other organizers. May this small token of appreciation from the entire staff of Sugarbush Hill provide you with encouragement and energy when it is needed.” Stehr posted on their facebook page.

It’s a timely gift, as it is a civic holiday in Ontario today.

With files from CBC and CP)

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