Forest fire prevention is moving closer to home. The Ministry of Natural Resources is investing $9.5 million into a state-of-the-art forest fire response facility at the airport in North Bay. Up until now, the closest facility to Timmins was in Sault Ste. Marie. The new facility will include a fire management headquarters facility at the North Bay airport and dedicated parking for water bombers, helicopters, and bird-dog planes.

North Bay’s Mayor Al McDonald says the purpose for this facility closer to home is two-fold. He says the MNR will be able to deploy their resources out of the Jack Garland airport for forest fires in northern Ontario. He says it also gives the Ministry a place to store significant resources, equipment, and aircrafts.

Construction will start next month, and will create around 120 construction jobs.

(With files from: Carleigh Bodrug)