Emergencies minister mobilizes military to help fight B.C. wildfires

Emergencies minister mobilizes military to help fight B.C. wildfires

Emergencies minister Bill Blair says federal assistance including military resources are being mobilized to help British Columbia’s fight against hundreds of wildfires.

Blair says he’s approved a request for federal assistance to aid firefighters and emergency management personnel who are “working tirelessly” in B.C.

He says in a tweet that the assistance will come from across federal departments and the Canadian Armed Forces.

B.C.’s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Bowinn Ma said Thursday she had made the request, while Blair said earlier that he expected B.C. to seek “fairly substantive” assistance.

Blair said at the time that federal help could include military assistance for airlift evacuations from remote locations, as well as troops trained as firefighters who can “mop up” to keep blazes from reigniting.

The BC Wildfire Service says the total number of active fires in the province has topped 360, while the number of threatening or potentially damaging blazes has jumped to 17.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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