300 firefighters from South Africa arrive to fight flames in northern Alberta

South African firefighters are seen on a an Air Canada plane in Johannesburg, South Africa destined for Edmonton on Sunday May 29, 2016 in this handout photo. Air Canada is flying 300 firefighters from Johannesburg, South Africa to assist with Alberta wild fires.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CNW Group/Air Canada

EDMONTON - Three hundred South African firefighters have arrived in Alberta to help battle wildfires raging in the province's north.

An Air Canada jet picked them up in Johannesburg Sunday morning, May 29, and landed in Edmonton late last night after refuelling in Barbados.

Kim Connors of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre says the mobilization represents the largest group of wildland firefighters ever brought into Canada.

The Alberta government says the still out of control Fort McMurray fire is now estimated to cover almost 58-hundred square kilometres, and has crept into Saskatchewan.

Almost 2,300 firefighters are battling 14 active wildfires in Alberta.

The province says a phased re-entry of residents into Fort McMurray is still on track to begin on Wednesday.

Colin Hugh Martin
How a Shuswap man smuggled loads of cocaine, ecstasy and pot across the border
He used a fictitious company, helicopters, and encrypted Blackberries to move the drugs back and forth between Canada and the U.S., until undercover agents busted the operation in 2009.  Now, after a nearly ten year legal battle, Colin

Top News