NEWS RELEASE · 22nd June 2010
Ministry of Forest and Range
British Columbia is sending 40 forest firefighters and specialists to Québec to help that province respond to increased fire activity.
Two 20-person unit crews, two task force leaders and an agency representative will arrive in Parent, about 284 kilometres north-west of Québec City on June 22, and will be deployed for up to 19 days.
The sustained action firefighters are being deployed from the south of British Columbia, where minimal fire activity has allowed the release of personnel. All resource needs have been met for northern B.C., where fire activity has increased.
Sufficient crews and equipment will remain in B.C. should fire activity increase. Twenty-six sustained-action crews are positioned throughout the province in preparation for any increased fire activities. Deployed personnel can be recalled at any time.
Québec is dealing with extreme fire danger ratings, and has already responded to 454 wildfires since April, burning over 227,000 hectares. By comparison, British Columbia has responded to 804 wildfires burning almost 39,000 hectares since April.
Costs for the deployment will be covered by the Government of Québec under the Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement, which allows for the sharing of firefighting resources across Canada.
British Columbia is expecting cooler and wetter conditions in the coming days, which should help to relieve the fire hazard in the northern interior.
Since April, provincial fire crews have responded to 298 fires across British Columbia. People are reminded to ensure they have the necessary tools on hand to extinguish any fires they light. Person-caused wildfires take critical resources away from naturally occurring lightning fires.
This is the fourth deployment of British Columbia fire crews this year. Last year 2,512 personnel from across Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, including more than 1,800 firefighters, assisted British Columbia with a challenging fire season.
The public reports nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. Please continue to report smoke and flames by calling toll-free *5555 on mobile phones or 1-800-663-5555.