B.C. requests more personnel to aid in fire suppression

One Type 1 Incident Management Team from Alberta, consisting of 14 personnel, arrived in B.C. on Monday, and has since been deployed to the Red Deer Creek fire located about 61 kilometres southeast of Tumbler Ridge. 

Today, 55 additional personnel will arrive from Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

They comprise two Type 1 Incident Management Teams, one Type 2 Incident Management Team and other single resources.

An Incident Management Team is comprised of highly trained and specialized personnel with experience in wildland fire management.

These requests for assistance are in addition to the 21 personnel from Ontario that arrived in B.C. on Sunday.

All of these out-of-province personnel will provide command and co-ordination support to fire crews on the ground.

There are no out-of-province firefighters in B.C. at this time.

These requests for assistance were made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the mutual sharing of firefighting resources between B.C. and other jurisdictions.

“This extended stretch of hot and dry weather has led to increased fire activity in many areas of British Columbia, so we’ve asked for additional out-of-province assistance,” Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson said “We thank these provinces for their help battling wildfires in B.C.”

Costs associated with these requests will be covered by B.C. under the Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement, which allows for the movement of firefighting resources throughout Canada.

Hot and dry weather conditions have elevated the fire danger rating throughout the province, as most of B.C. is currently experiencing a “high” to “extreme” fire danger rating.

Fire danger ratings are based on readings from over 200 weather stations throughout the province.

Forest fuels are very receptive to ignition and firefighting crews are on standby in all 6 of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for increased fire starts.

The Wildfire Management Branch has responded to 573 wildfires so far this season. There are currently 12 active fires of note burning within the boundaries of the Prince George, Kamloops, Cariboo and Northwest fire centres.

Most of these fires were caused by lightning.

These fires serve as a reminder that as lightning activity within the province increases, extra caution is needed to prevent person-caused wildfires.

Each person-caused fire diverts critical resources away from natural, lightning-caused fires.

You can report a wildfire or unattended campfire by calling 1 800 663 5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca. 

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