As sustained hot and dry weather continues to exacerbate an already busy summer wildfire season, additional firefighting resources from the United States and Mexico have been engaged to assist the BC Wildfire Service.
108 wildfire personnel from Mexico will arrive this week and are expected to be deployed to wildfires in the Interior on Friday. This is the first time Mexican personnel have assisted B.C., although they have been employed many times by the Province of Alberta.
This is in addition to 27 firefighters from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan who were brought into B.C. as part of crews from Ontario that arrived this weekend. These firefighters were imported from Ontario as part of the cross-border Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact.
“Given the severity of B.C. wildfires this year, we greatly appreciate the ability to draw on personnel from beyond our borders, said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“We thank all incoming crews, as well as all our B.C. crews and contractors in their ongoing firefighting efforts.”
The firefighters from Mexico and the United States are trained to the standards of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and will be valuable as they assist with B.C.’s current wildfire situation. The cost of bringing in the international resources will be covered by the Province of B.C.
Hot and dry weather conditions have kept a persistently high fire danger rating throughout B.C. Firefighting crews are on standby in all six of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for an anticipated increase in fire starts over the next few days due to unsettled weather in the forecast, which may bring lightning.
To report a new wildfire or an open burning violation, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.