Maple syrup producer sends very Canadian 'thank you' to forest fire crews in northeastern Ontario

Forest fire crews tackling the fire known as Parry Sound 33, south of Sudbury, Ont., have gotten a sweet reward for their hard work from a local maple syrup producer.

Tom Stehr sent 180 bottles of maple syrup to crews working on Parry Sound 33 fire

A Huntsville, Ont., maple farm sent bottles of syrup to crews fighting the fire known as Parry Sound 33 as a thank you for their hard work. (Toby Talbot/Associated Press)

Forest fire crews tackling the fire known as Parry Sound 33, south of Sudbury, Ont., have gotten a sweet reward for their hard work from a local maple syrup producer.

Tom Stehr, the owner of Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm in Huntsville, wanted to do something nice for the nearly 200 people that have come from across North America to help fight the fire.

"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 said.

He reached out to the MNRF to find out how many people were stationed in Britt and the French River and then packaged up his bottles of maple syrup to send off to the front lines.

With crews coming from as far as Mexico, Stehr said it's possible some of them have never even tasted real maple syrup before.

"Hopefully it puts a smile on people's faces," he 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."

Parry Sound 33, which measures 11,185 hectares, is one of 45 active forest fires across northeastern Ontario.

Stehr is hoping for more steady rain to help quell the fires — and to ensure a healthy crop of maple trees for his next batch of syrup.

With files from Benjamin Aubé