23 fire management specialists heading to British Columbia

July 9, 2021

By: The Working Forest Staff

PARKS CANADA, CNW – The Government of Canada’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of Canadians. It is committed to providing necessary supports to assist in managing the wildfires occurring in British Columbia.

In recent years, Parks Canada has provided wildfire resources to support British Columbia during times of need. Today, Parks Canada is sending 23 highly trained wildland fire management specialists including Incident Management personnel and wildland firefighters. Two Parks Canada fire specialists have also been working with crews in Alberta since July 4th.

The deployment to British Columbia is being coordinated through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). Parks Canada exchanges operational wildfire resources with provinces and territories through the Canadian Interagency Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreement and border zone agreements, as well as with international partners, coordinated by the CIFFC. These agreements ensure collaboration and distribution of resources where most needed.

Parks Canada wildland fire management specialists will be in British Columbia for two weeks. Seven wildland firefighters will be doing initial attacks on new fires, and the Incident Management personnel will take over management of one of the British Columbia fires. This team includes an Incident Commander and Information Officer as well as experts in Operations, Plans, Logistics, and Finance.

The Parks Canada specialists are traveling from Kootenay, Banff, Jasper, Prince Albert, Riding Mountain, Mount Revelstoke, Point Pelee, La Mauricie, Bruce Peninsula, Waterton Lakes and Elk Island National Parks and Parks Canada’s National Office.

Parks Canada manages wildland fire across 350,195 km2 of federal Crown lands (approximately the size of Germany or six times the landmass of Nova Scotia). Parks Canada is the only federal organization that is an operational wildfire management organization with similar roles and capabilities as any provincial or territorial wildfire agency.

“These recent days have been a very harsh reminder that even as we fight climate change, we must also adapt to its effects. The Government of Canada is pleased to be contributing 25 of Parks Canada’s highly trained wildland fire management specialists to assist in managing the wildfires occurring in British Columbia and Alberta. The important work they will be doing will help keep communities safe,” said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

Quick Facts

  • In recent years (2010, 2015, 2017, and 2018), Parks Canada has provided wildfire resources to support British Columbia during times of need, including providing Incident Management Teams, specialized fire management personnel, and equipment. Similarly, British Columbia recently provided air tankers to support Parks Canada crews with a fire in Kootenay National Park. Parks Canada exchanges wildfire resources with various provinces and territories almost every year. 
  • Parks Canada provided wildland fire management specialists to support fire fighting efforts in Australia (2019-20) and Western United States (2020). 
  • Parks Canada has also developed Best Practices in collaboration with its partners in the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) to reduce transmission of COVID-19 during fire management operations. 
  • The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) is a not-for-profit corporation owned and operated by the federal, provincial and territorial wildland fire management agencies to coordinate resource sharing, mutual aid, and information sharing. In addition, CIFFC also serves as a collective focus and facilitator of wildland fire cooperation and coordination nationally and internationally in long-range fire management planning program delivery and human resource strategies.

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