Manitoba

Manitoba fire crews raise funds for Arizona wildfire victims

Manitoba firefighters are reaching out after a massive wildfire claimed the lives of 19 firefighters in Arizona over the weekend.

19 firefighters die in Arizona wildfire

Manitoba fire crews raise funds for Arizona wildfire victims

8 years ago
1:51
Manitoba firefighters are reaching out after a massive wildfire claimed the lives of 19 firefighters in an Arizona blaze. 1:51

Manitoba firefighters are reaching out after a massive wildfire claimed the lives of 19 firefighters in Arizona over the weekend.

Neary all of a 20-member fire crew died Sunday, after massive wildfires swept through the area of Yarnell in the state.

Manitoban firefighters are now raising money for the victims’ families.

"We are all a family, and we want to help out where we can," said Robert Campbell, a senior firefighter

Retired firefighter Jim Palmer showed up on Tuesday to donate.

"These 19 families, they are going to need lots of help -- lots of help," he said.

Winnipeg firefighters will be going to Arizona to honour the men -- among them is Alex Forrest, the president of the United Firefighters of Winnipeg.

"When we had our two firefighters die in 2007, the Arizona firefighters actually came here for the memorial," said Forrest. "They were supporting us, and now we are supporting them."

On Wednesday, a moment of silence is planned at a Winnipeg Goldeyes game, and the United Firefighters will be there to collect donations for the families affected by the tragedy.

Forest fires burn in Manitoba

The deaths provide a stark reminder for crews across the province of the dangers of fighting fires.  Crews are currently working near Gillam, Man., to bring a forest fire under control.

But Gary Friesen, the manager of the fire program for Manitoba Conservation, said crews here work under different circumstances.

"We use pump and hose for water delivery, whereas a lot of the southern areas don’t have access to the water we do," said Friesen. "They use hand-lines and manual construction of fire lines so it’s a bit of a difference scenario."

Friesen added Manitoba’s "water sure helps us with our suppression."

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