Canadian Armed Forces stationed in Vernon to assist with wildfires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Canadian Armed Forces stationed in Vernon to assist with wildfires

1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI) soldiers prepare to depart 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton en route to Vernon, British Columbia July 23, 2021. The Canadian Armed Forces is deploying land forces to support local and provincial authorities in response to the emergency wildfire situation.
Image Credit: Kevin Moffit

The Canadian Armed Forces have arrived in Vernon and will be stationed there throughout the summer to assist with battling B.C. wildfires.

Roughly 160 to 180 personnel are being stationed at the Vernon Cadet Camp, said Lt. (Navy) Kevin Moffit, public affairs officer with the Canadian Armed Forces.

The land task force will be comprised of headquarters staff, two companies or roughly 90 to 130 personnel, and service support from the Canadian Army. The first vanguard arrived in Vernon yesterday, with a second contingent scheduled to arrive in the next several days, he said.

Most of the troops are from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry from Edmonton, he said.

At this time, troops are still mobilizing and are working with B.C. Wildfire to determine the most effective way to assist with wildfires, but personnel have not been allocated to fires as of yet, he said.

Some of the troops have had specific wildfire training and many have also had it in previous operations to assist B.C. Wildfire by suppressing hot spots on existing lines, monitoring fire lines for holdover fire and suppressing as required, to support the building of new fire lines and to provide transportation assistance, Moffit said.

Troops are expected to be in B.C. until the end of August, but that could be extended, he said.

Capt. Mike Tsui, liaison to the B.C. Wildfire Service, said it was likely troops taking a different route from Edmonton as the one through Banff wasn’t suitable for military vehicles due to the construction.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Armed Forces deployed approximately 50 members to Kamloops, to provide air support. 

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

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