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NEWS RELEASE · 25th June 2010
Ministry of Forest and Range
British Columbia is sending 97 wildfire professionals to Québec and Manitoba to respond to increased fire activity.

The Wildfire Management Branch will be deploying 66 wildfire personnel to Matagami, Québec, to help manage a challenging fire situation. Québec has responded to 472 fires this year, burning over 266,000 hectares. Three 20-person unit crews, three task force leaders, one division supervisor and two agency representatives departed B.C. this morning. The sustained-action unit crews were deployed to help contain large fires.

Manitoba is experiencing hot, dry weather, and high danger ratings. Ten three-person initial attack crews and an agency representative will depart for Le Pas, Manitoba on Saturday.

Costs for the deployment will be covered by the Governments of Québec and Manitoba under the Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement, which allows for the sharing of firefighting resources across Canada. Personnel will be deployed for up to 19 days.

Sufficient crews and equipment will remain in B.C. should fire activity increase here. The Wildfire Management Branch maintains sufficient firefighting capacity to respond to current conditions in B.C. Deployed personnel can be recalled at any time.

These are the sixth and seventh deployments of British Columbia fire crews this year. Seventy-four personnel are currently deployed to Ontario and Québec.

The public reports nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. Please continue to report smoke and flames by calling *5555 on mobile phones or 1 800 663-5555.