Military personnel swapping out after battling Interior wildfires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Military personnel swapping out after battling Interior wildfires

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Peter Boyd
August 13, 2021 - 8:00 PM

More than 100 Canadian Forces Military personnel are being swapped out as they’ve completed their shifts combating Interior wildfires.

On Aug. 11, more than 100 soldiers from 11 Field Squadron, 18 Squadron and 1 Combat Engineer Regiment arrived in Vernon to replace members from the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The infantry originally arrived to assist with wildfires in the region, July 23.

Additional soldiers from 38, 39, and 41 Brigades arrived yesterday, forming the Disaster Response Company with roughly 250 troops, according to a press release issued by Jamie Blois, public affairs officer for the land task force in Vernon.

Soldiers initially arrived at the Vernon Cadet Summer Training Center to be issued personal protective equipment, such as red fire retardant coveralls, which is required to be able to work on the fire line under direct supervision of wildfire firefighters, according to the press release.

The Canadian Armed Forces is supporting wildfire firefighters on the Flat Lake fire near 100 Mile House and the Thomas Creek wildfire east of Okanagan Falls.

"Tasks on the fire line include suppression of hot spots on existing lines to ensure full extinguishment, building new fire lines on priority fires, and providing transport assistance where required to non-CAF personnel also deployed in support of this effort,” according to the press release.

This year, the Canadian Armed Forces is also supporting flood response in the Yukon, and wildfires in Northwestern Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba.

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