Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy
23.5°C

Australia to send support for B.C. Wildfire

Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire Management Branch
August 06, 2014 - 4:26 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Several wildfire specialist management teams from Australia will touch down in Vancouver this weekend to help respond to several wildfires across the province.

“The high number of active wildfires in the province is stretching our firefighting resources,” said Minister of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson.

“In addition to the support we have already received from other Canadian provinces and territories, we are grateful for the assistance we will be receiving from the Australian State of Victoria.”

The country’s roughly 80 personnel will be deployed throughout B.C and join more than 1,600 provincial staff, 860 contractors and over 200 out-of-province personnel. The group comprises of incident management teams, fire behaviour specialists, aircraft co-ordinators and support staff. The province has not requested ground crews. Australia’s specialists could remain in B.C. for up to five weeks.

Both B.C. and Australia have a 15-year-long relationship of working together to combat wildfires by exchanging personnel, knowledge, equipment and technology.

B.C. Wildfire teams travelled to Australia in 2007 and 2009 to help with busier fire seasons. Personnel from New Zealand and Australia assisted the province in 2009.

There are currently 222 wildfires burning in B.C. Because of hot and dry weather conditions, the fire danger rating has elevated. The majority of the province is experiencing a “high” to “extreme” fire danger rating.

Due to conditions, firefighting crews are on standby in all six of B.C.’s fire centres.

B.C. Wildfire has responded to over 1,000 wildfires so far this season. Most were lightning-caused. As lightning activity increases, the public is reminded to take extra caution to prevent person-caused wildfires. Each human-caused fire diverts resources from fires caused by lightning.

To report a wildfire or an unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 on a cell phone.

To contact a reporter for this story, email gbrothen@infotelnews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
  • How Vernon residents are spreading community spirit one painted rock at a time
    VERNON - Located on a nondescript side street in Vernon sits a landmark known by all the neighbourhood kids as ‘The Wishing Tree.’ A little wooden sign describing it as such has
  • Police seek missing North Okanagan teen
    VERNON – RCMP are looking for the public’s help finding a missing 16-year-old North Okanagan girl. Ebony Holmgren was last seen on June 16 in the 11000 block of Tassie Drive in C
  • Depp's 'assassin' comments the latest in celebrity anger
    NEW YORK - Johnny Depp apologized Friday for joking about assassinating Donald Trump during an appearance at a large festival in Britain, the latest example of artists using violent imagery when d
  • Heat wave expected across Interior this weekend
    The Interior is going to be hit by a heat wave. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement warning about hot weather across the Southern Interior, including the South Thompson
  • Okanagan cherry season is underway
    KELOWNA - Nothing quite says summer in the Okanagan than eating ripe, juicy cherries until your hands are stained red and your stomach is aching it’s so full. Lucky for us, that time is now.
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile