The Monte Lake wildfire approximately 45 kilometres southeast of Kamloops. Facebook/BC Wildfire Service photo

200 out-of-province firefighters, support staff to arrive in B.C. in next week

Firefighters will arrive from across Canada as well as New Zealand, Mexico and Australia

Firefighters from across Canada as well as from New Zealand, Mexico and Australia will arrive in B.C. in the next week to aid the BC Wildfire Service’s efforts in suppressing the 446 wildfires currently burning throughout the province.

The BC Wildfire Service today (Aug. 3) announced out-of-province firefighting personnel and aircraft are beginning to arrive, with more expected in the coming weeks.

The BC Wildfire Service announced yesterday (Aug. 2) that it would be requesting resources to help with the province’s current wildfire situation.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire to call in help from other provinces, countries

Twenty firefighters from Alberta and 15 from the Northwest Territories arrived in B.C. on Thursday, Aug. 2, and 20 firefighters with 10 support staff are expected to arrive from Saskatchewan on Sunday Aug. 5.

Four Canadair CL-415 water-skimming aircraft from Quebec will be arriving in the coming days, joining more than 150 aircraft that are currently supporting ground crews.

From overseas, 65 personnel from New Zealand (a mix of firefighters and support staff) and 62 firefighters from Mexico will arrive in B.C. on Monday, Aug. 6.

And a group of 25 support staff from Australia are also expected to arrive next week.

These resources will join the more than 2,200 people currently engaged in the province’s wildfire response, including BC Wildfire Service firefighters, government staff, forest industry personnel and contractors, says the news release.

The BC Wildfire Service says it has also made arrangements with more than 50 companies from all regions of the province to provide contract firefighters and specialized staff, such as tree fallers and heavy equipment operators. As of Aug. 2, the BC Wildfire Service had over 900 contract personnel working on wildfires throughout the province and over 130 pieces of contracted heavy equipment on the fireline.

During the 2017 B.C. wildfires, the province declared a state of emergency on July 7, the first in 14 years.

The state of emergency gave agencies such as Emergency Management BC, the Fire Commissioner, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the RCMP authority under the Emergency Program Act to take every action necessary to fight these wildfires and protect residents and their communities.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

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