Fire Fighting in Canada

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Poor cell phone service hampered firefighters’ efforts

Oct. 12, 2011, La Broquerie, Man. - Crews still looking for hotspots and battling fires in southeastern Manitoba say their efforts have been hampered by poor cell phone service.

October 12, 2011
By The Canadian Press

La Broquerie fire Chief Al Nadeau says it's such a terrible problem that he can't believe it's happening in 2011.

He says that during a battle on the weekend to save the town of Marchand, he had to break into a convenience store to use a land
line to start calling people.

Nadeau says he can see a cell phone tower from his house, yet calls keep dropping.

MTS Allstream says it is aware of the problem and says it's currently in talks with the federal government in hopes of getting funding to put up more towers.

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Spokeswoman Selena Hinds says the "cost to provide service is quiet significant.''

Fortunately, no one was hurt and no properties were destroyed. All evacuation orders in the province have now been lifted.

Meanwhile, a driver was fined $231.50 by RCMP after volunteer firefighters from La Broquerie saw him flick a lit cigarette out of his car.

The cigarette started a small fire which the firefighters quickly extinguished.