By: The Working Forest Staff
The BC Wildfire Service is sending firefighting personnel to Ontario and Quebec to help with firefighting efforts in those provinces, due to an increasing wildfire threat in Eastern Canada.
When they arrive, the B.C. personnel will be deployed as needed in each province to assist with the firefighting situation.
- Forty-five firefighters (consisting of 15 Initial Attack Crews) and two agency representatives are leaving today (July 9) for Sudbury, Ont.
- One hundred firefighters (consisting of five Unit Crews) and two agency representatives will travel to Val-D’Or, Que., and arrive there on Wednesday, July 11.
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. All associated costs will be covered by the jurisdiction that requested the resources.
Given the invaluable assistance that Ontario and Quebec provided to B.C. last year, during one of the province’s worst wildfire seasons, the BC Wildfire Service recognizes the importance of sharing firefighting resources. Crews can be deployed out-of-province for up to 19 days, but they can be recalled at any time.
Considering the current and forecasted fire situation in British Columbia, sufficient personnel and resources remain in the province to respond appropriately to any fire activity here.
- Initial Attack Crew: Initial Attack firefighters operate as part of a three-person crew, and are usually the first on scene of a new wildfire. Once there, the initial attack crew works quickly to set up water pumps, remove fuel from the fire’s path and dig fireguards to help control or extinguish the blaze.
- Unit Crew: A 20-person sustained action unit crew typically works on large fires, and can remain self-sufficient in the field for up to 72 hours at a time. Crew members receive extensive training and are knowledgeable about wildfire behaviour, fire management tactics and fireline equipment use.
- Agency representative: The agency representative acts as a link between deployed crews and the BC Wildfire Service.