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B.C. firefighters getting help from Ontario

July 07, 2015 - 2:33 PM

BRITISH COLUMBIA - Crews fighting the nearly 200 wildfires raging across the province will get some help from our neighbours out east.

A total of 70 personnel from Ontario are arriving today, July 7, to help with fires in the Coastal and Southeast Fire Centres. Two amphibious skimming aircraft, a birddog and an air attack officer will arrive in Kamloops today as well.

Earlier this summer B.C. sent crews to the Yukon, Alaska and Alberta. This help is done under a mutual aid agreement.

Fire bans have been implemented across the province as the fire danger rating reaches a high to extreme level throughout most of the province.

The wildfire danger rating as of noon on July 7, 2015.
The wildfire danger rating as of noon on July 7, 2015.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire

Yesterday, July 6, 23 new fires were discovered in B.C., bringing the total to 184 active fires in the province. Of those 184, 18 are of note and eight evacuation orders or alerts are currently in effect. A total of 40 homes are on evacuation order and another 920 on alert as of today.

B.C. Wildfire has responded to nearly 900 fires this season, which is significantly more than the 404 reported in 2014.

While the province does have a standing offer in place for use of the Martin Mars water bomber, it is unavailable from July 20 to 31. It also can only be used on 113 different bodies of water in B.C. while the skimmers currently in use can access 1,700 lakes. The Martin Mars also cannot drop long-term fire retardant, which is considered critical in B.C.’s terrain.

Smoke advisories are in place for a number of regions in B.C., including the Southern Interior.

To report a wildfire call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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