B.C. welcomes 100 firefighters from Mexico

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – A plane carrying 100 firefighters from Mexico landed in Abbotsford on Saturday to assist wi…

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – A plane carrying 100 firefighters from Mexico landed in Abbotsford on Saturday to assist with the wildfire response in B.C.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth greeted each firefighter individually as they stepped off the plane, then he gave an update on B.C.’s wildfire status.

“These highly trained crews will be on hand for 30 days, working shoulder to shoulder with our wildfire service crews,” said Farnworth. “We can’t thank these men and women enough for heeding our call for support.”

After they clear customs, the firefighters will head to a nearby air tanker base to undergo rapid COVID-19 testing and meet with BC Wildfire representatives and Mexico’s Consulate General of Mexico.

“For now, we continue to face difficult fire behaviour and conditions throughout the central and southern interior,”  “Our provincial and contract crews have been working hard, and the assistance we’re seeing from Mexico and others is a welcome relief to all British Columbians.”

Canadian Forces aircraft have been providing assistance in transporting personnel, supplies, and equipment since early July.

“Just yesterday, the first contingent of the Canadian Forces wildfire ground crews arrived in Vernon to be briefed and receive their tasks. More are arriving through the mid-week.”

In addition to the support from the Canadian Forces, Parks Canada and Mexico, there are out-of-province crews lending help from Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

“That’s coordinated through the Inter-Agency Fire Centre in Winnipeg, and we’re really pleased they’re here. In the fire season in other jurisdictions, we often send our firefighters there, so it’s a terrific reciprocal arrangement we’ve got.”

As of Saturday, the B.C. Wildfire dashboard shows 261 active wildfires, 48 of which are in the Prince George Fire Centre.

The fire danger rating map, updated at noon on Friday, shows Fort St. John’s fire danger rating as moderate.

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