The Wildfire Management Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is sending over 80 personnel to Quebec to aid in fire suppression efforts, says Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.
Four, 20-person Unit Crews, four task force leaders, and two agency representatives acting as the link between the deployed crews and the Wildfire Management Branch, will departed Sunday. A 20-person sustained action crew typically works on large fires and can be self-sufficient in the field for up to 72 hours at a time.These personnel will be coming from wildfire bases throughout the province.
Personnel and resources from the Wildfire Management Branch are currently also deployed to Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Current conditions in B.C. make it possible to share resources, and the Wildfire Management Branch is glad to lend assistance whenever possible. Personnel can be called back at any time if they are needed in B.C.
The request 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 associated with deployment are covered by the receiving jurisdictions under the Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement.
"Enough crews remain in B.C., and deployed personnel can be recalled if the situation changes," says Thomson. "I remind all British Columbians, while they're enjoying the outdoors, to practice campfire safety and to call *5555 on their cells or 1.800.663.5555, if they see smoke or flames."