5.1 C
New York
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Home Breaking News Additional Canadian Armed Forces for support in tackling B.C. wildfires

Additional Canadian Armed Forces for support in tackling B.C. wildfires

WITH weeks of British Columbia’s fire season remaining and no relief from hot, dry conditions in sight, the Province announced on Saturday that it has asked the federal government for additional Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) support through September.

The Canadian Forces will provide:

  • Up to 300 Standard BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) Tier III firefighting-trained CAF members in self-sufficient camps who will assist with the mop-up and monitoring stages of the wildfires, including air support. The BCWS will provide the supervision, training and equipment needed to keep the personnel safe.
  • Temporary lodgings for firefighters transiting to and from remote locations.

None of the Province’s requests for military support have included deployments in an armed or law-enforcement capacity, or for front-line fire suppression.

In July, the Province requested and obtained CAF aid with emergency airlifts, followed by a second request for assistance in support of the RCMP efforts in the Williams Lake area. Military personnel have been in place specifically to help with ground and air evacuations, delivering essentials like food supplies by land and air, and maintaining road checkpoints throughout the areas affected by the fires.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said: “British Columbia continues to deal with one of the most-devastating wildfire seasons in its history, with more than 650,000 hectares burned to date and hot, dry conditions expected to continue throughout most of the province. We are incredibly grateful for the tireless efforts of all those engaged in the fight, and we recognize that more resources will be needed to sustain this important work through September, so we’re requesting those resources now.”

Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson said: “We appreciate the efforts of everyone who has been lending a hand this summer. Given their training and command structure, the military personnel are ideally suited to assist with mop-up, demobilization and patrol work on a number of our larger wildfires. The work to fully extinguish some of these fires is expected to take several weeks.”

Commander Joint Task Force Pacific, Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, said: “Joint Task Force Pacific is always prepared to support our federal and provincial partners in keeping Canadians safe. This new deployment of personnel in support of the British Columbia Wildfire Service is a tangible demonstration of the federal government’s dedication to preserve life and property during this state of emergency in British Columbia.”

Quick Facts:

  • With this announcement, the CAF has deployed a total of 650 personnel to British Columbia in support of this year’s firefighting efforts.
  • Currently, there are 3,900 personnel fighting the wildfires, including 1,606 contractors and 647 from out of province.
  • In 2003, 920 military personnel supported British Columbia’s wildfire fighting efforts.

1 COMMENT

Comments are closed.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Nearly 60,000 students return on first day of in-class instruction

THE Province said on Tuesday that it reopened in-class instruction to all students on June 1 with about 30% of expected enrolment...

B.C. Liberals recommend regional reopening strategy

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson on Tuesday announced that he is recommending the government work with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry...

B.C. modernizes family court rules

AN order-in-council published on Monday, June 1 will repeal and replace the provincial court family rules and improve how British Columbia families...

Government will expand Program Integrity Unit of Provincial Nominee Program

FOLLOWING criticism by Acting Auditor General Russ Jones that the B.C.’s Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness "isn’t doing enough to...