Canadian Armed Forces leaving B.C. tomorrow after helping with wildfire season | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Canadian Armed Forces leaving B.C. tomorrow after helping with wildfire season

FILE PHOTO - Members of the Canadian Armed Forces in the South Okanagan to assist BC Wildfire crews on the Thomas Creek Fire between Penticton and Okanagan Falls.
Image Credit: BC Wildfire Service
September 04, 2021 - 2:45 PM

The Canadian Armed Forces will be leaving the province tomorrow after being deployed earlier this summer to assist with B.C.’s wildfire season.

During the wildfire season about 300 personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces’ Land Task Force and 55 personnel from the Air Task Force were assigned to help with wildfires, with about 625 individuals cycling through as part of that ongoing effort, said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in a statement.

READ MORE: Canadian Armed Forces arrive today to help with wildfire burning in North, Central Okanagan

“As every British Columbian knows, this fire season has been one of the most active and destructive on record. Dry conditions and aggressive fire behaviour have presented numerous challenges this summer,” she said.

“When faced with such extreme circumstances, the BC Wildfire Service often reaches out to other jurisdictions for support to help keep communities safe. This year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been fortunate to receive assistance from other Canadian provinces and territories, Parks Canada, Mexico and Australia, and from contractors, industry personnel, First Nations and other key partners here in B.C.”

The military provided personnel and aircraft to help with evacuations, air transport for fire crews and equipment, and firefighting activities and played a significant role to the B.C. Wildfire Service’s response to the Thomas Creek, Flat Lake and White Rock Lake fires, she said.

There are still more than 200 active wildfires in B.C. but weather conditions and fire behaviour have improved in recent days, so there are sufficient resources in place to be able to respond to these fires, she said. They were originally deployed mid-July to assist with the wildfire season.

READ MORE: Canadian Armed Forces arrive in Kamloops to help with wildfire season

In the Thompson Okanagan, the Mt Law wildfire near West Kelowna is being held, as is the massive White Rock Lake wildfire burning in the North and Central Okanagan. The Lytton Creek wildfire near Merritt has been classified as under control and the Thomas Creek wildfire near Okanagan Falls is being held. The Tremont Creek wildfire burning to the west of Kamloops is now also being held.


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