More BC crews heading to Alberta as wildfires rage

More BC crews heading to Alberta as wildfires rage
The massive Chuckegg Creek fire burning near the town of High Level, Alta., on Sunday, May 19. (Government of Alberta/CBC)


The B.C. Wildfire Service is sending additional crews to Alberta, after around 10,000 were forced from their homes due to worsening wildfires.

On Monday and Tuesday 137 personnel will head east to help where needed.

One-hundred and sixteen are in six unit crews, and 21 are from an incident management team.

Other personnel are also heading to Yukon, to assist with an increasing wildfire threat.

The previous  267 personnel who were sent to Alberta on May 22 and 23 will be concluding their 19-day deployment and returning.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development says considering the current and forecasted fire situation in B.C., sufficient personnel and resources remain in the province.

Crews can be deployed out of province for up to 19 days, but can be recalled at any time.

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

Costs of the resources is covered by the jurisdiction that requested the help.

“The B.C. Wildfire Service recognizes the importance of sharing firefighting resources given the invaluable assistance that both Alberta and the Yukon provided to B.C. during the last two wildfire seasons, which were the worst in the province’s history,” said the ministry in a statement.

Northern Alberta is suffering from tinder-dry conditions and intense heat. Trout Lake and High Level have both been evacuated, as a 133,000-hectare fire is raging nearby.

Several other communities  including Wabasca, the Bigstone Cree Nation and Chipewyan Lake Village, have fallen under evacuation orders.

In B.C. more than 230 fires have been sparked since the start of the season. Forty-two are currently burning.

Following a drought in much of B.C. the province is setting up a 150-person camp in the Dease Lake, just south of the Yukon border.

In Ontario a 3,000-hectare blaze has caused a state of emergency on Pikangikum First Nation north of Thunder Bay. Hundreds of people are being evacuated.

An average of about 2.5 million hectares of land is burned every year during Canada’s annual wildfire season.

With files from the CBC


Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!