Out-of-province fire crews arriving to provide assistance in B.C.

By Contributor
August 19th, 2012

British Columbia is welcoming 79 firefighting personnel from the Yukon, Saskatchewan and Ontario to assist B.C. crews with an anticipated increase in fire activity, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister announced today.

Twenty-one firefighters and one agency representative from the Yukon will arrive in Williams Lake on Saturday. An additional 20 firefighters and one agency representative from Saskatchewan will arrive in Abbotsford on Sunday. Also, 35 fire personnel and one agency representative from Ontario will arrive in Kamloops.

“While out enjoying the backcountry, make sure you respect local campfire bans,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. “In areas where campfires are allowed, never leave it unattended. Keep water and hand tools nearby in case you need to put the fire out quickly. Also make sure the fire is completely extinguished and cold to the touch before you leave the area.”

Placement of the arriving personnel will be determined based on current fire activity and anticipated need. It’s important to keep some firefighting crews on standby in all of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for an anticipated increase in fire starts.

The costs associated will be covered by B.C.’s Wildfire Management Branch under the Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement, which allows for the movement of firefighting resources throughout Canada. Earlier in the season, B.C. was able to lend firefighting personnel to other provinces.

The fire danger rating for the province is mostly “high”, with some areas of “moderate” and many patches of “extreme”. Hot and dry conditions are expected this weekend, with a risk of thunderstorm activity.

Quick Facts:

  • There are currently no campfire bans in the Southeast regions, but open fires are prohibited.
  • Throughout the province, anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345.
  • Report smoke or flames by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
  • An agency representative acts as the link between the deployed crews and the Wildfire Management Branch.

Learn More:

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions in B.C., visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest B.C. wildfire news –

On Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

On Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Categories: General