With 152 wildfires still active in the province, the Wildfire Management Branch will welcome 85 more out-of-province fire personnel today to allow B.C. firefighting crews to take mandatory days off.
Eighty sustained-action firefighters, four strike team leaders and one agency representative from Ontario will arrive in Prince George, where they will be briefed and then dispatched to fires throughout the province.
These personnel were requested through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), which allows for the sharing of resources between all provinces and territories in Canada.
The Ontario personnel may remain in B.C. for up to 14 days. They will join more than 1,250 provincial staff, nearly 810 B.C. contractors, over 295 other out-of-province personnel, 74 personnel from Australia and two dispatchers from Alaska who are already engaged in fire response efforts across the province.
The incoming personnel are highly trained Type 1 crews or specialized personnel who are being brought in to perform specific functions during this period of heightened fire activity. B.C’s firefighters have been working extremely hard and bringing in crews from other jurisdictions gives them a much-needed break.
Although the fire danger rating in southeastern portions of the province has decreased in recent days, many areas of the province are still experiencing a “high” to “extreme” fire danger rating. The Wildfire Management Branch is urging everyone to use extra caution in the backcountry to help prevent human-caused wildfires, which divert critical resources away from lightning-caused fires.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news:
Fire Information Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Provincial Wildfire Coordination Centre