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West Newbury Assistant Fire Chief Joins International Efforts to Battle Canadian Wildfires

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WEST NEWBURY — Chief Michael Dwyer announces that Assistant Fire Chief Ben Jennell is one of 16 Massachusetts firefighters who traveled to British Columbia, Canada to battle fires that have spread across more than a million acres of land.

Assistant Chief Jennell left on Aug. 3 for a two-week assignment through the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Bureau of Forestry and Fire Control and Department of Fish and Game. He joins an international crew of wildland firefighters involved in the effort.

More than 110 fires have spread throughout the region, causing thousands to evacuate their homes. Throughout their time in Canada, crews will focus on securing perimeters, protecting vital structures, working on the fire line, building fire breaks and containing fires.

On Aug. 6, Assistant Chief Jennell and the Massachusetts fire crew began their first assignment on Elephant Hill where 275,000 acres are actively burning.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Assistant Chief Jennell for using his expertise to help aid a neighboring country in its time of need,” Chief Dwyer said. “Crews have done an excellent job so far, working around the clock to help suppress the large-scale wildfires affecting British Columbia. I wish them good luck as they progress through this assignment.”

Assistant Chief Jennell has been a member of the DCR since 2010 and a longtime member of the West Newbury Fire Department.

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