Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has released the following statement regarding the deployment of BC Wildfire Service personnel to Quebec and Ontario:
“British Columbia is always ready to assist other provinces when they need help fighting wildfires, and we have enough resources available to do that. We sent crews to Manitoba last month, and our firefighters are stepping up again to assist Quebec and Ontario.
“Today, the BC Wildfire Service is sending 120 firefighters and three support staff to Quebec to help with firefighting efforts there. Tomorrow, another 60 firefighters and one support staff will depart for Quebec, for a total of 184 personnel deployed.
“On Sunday, June 13, the BC Wildfire Service is sending 20 firefighters and one support staff to Ontario.
“COVID-19 precautions will be taken to protect the health of everyone participating, both during their time in Central Canada and on their return to this province. Firefighters will remain within their own ‘bubbles’ and conduct operations separately from Quebec and Ontario firefighters.
“The BC Wildfire Service recognizes the importance of sharing firefighting resources with other jurisdictions, and we welcome this opportunity to provide assistance to Quebec and Ontario.
“The crews can be recalled at any time if wildfire conditions change in British Columbia. However, given the current fire situation, we have sufficient resources in place to respond appropriately to wildfire activity here.
“I am always impressed by the dedication and professionalism shown by BC Wildfire Service staff. They are committed to keeping people and communities safe, whether it’s here in B.C. or elsewhere around the world.”