More out-of-province fire personnel heading to BC
As wildfire activity continues to increase throughout the province, the Wildfire Management Branch welcomed over 220 additional fire personnel on Friday and Saturday.
One 19-person Incident Management Team, 40 sustained action firefighters and about 30 support staff from Ontario arrived in Kelowna last Friday.
Forty sustained action firefighters and three support staff from Quebec arrived in Prince George, plus another 80 sustained action firefighters and about 10 more support staff from Ontario.
These resources join more than 1,600 provincial staff, over 930 B.C. contractors and about 100 out-of-province personnel already engaged in fire response efforts.
The incoming personnel are in addition to about 80 specialized wildfire personnel from Australia.
The requests for outside assistance were made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the mutual sharing of firefighting resources between B.C. and other Canadian jurisdictions. 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 British Columbia and many areas of the province are currently experiencing a “high” to “extreme” fire danger rating. The hot and dry conditions are expected to last for at least the next two weeks.
The Wildfire Management Branch has responded to 1,036 wildfires so far this season, and most of those fires were caused by lightning. They 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 lightning-caused fires.
Campfire prohibitions are in effect in many areas of the province. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
- Fire danger ratings are based on readings from over 200 weather stations throughout the province.
- An “extreme” fire danger rating indicates that forest fuels are extremely dry and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly and make fire suppression efforts challenging.