With weeks of B.C.’s fire season remaining and no relief from hot, dry conditions in sight, the province has asked the federal government for additional support from the Canadian Armed Forces.
The request was made for an additional 300 members to assist in mop-up, monitoring stages of the fire activity and air support through the month of September.
Some will also help conduct fire-line patrol tasks and ensure an extinguished area is cold to the touch to prevent re-ignition.
To date, there have been more than 900 wildfires this season, burning an estimated 650,000 hectares of land.
This will bring the total number of armed forces personnel deployed to aide in wildfire efforts to approximately 650.
“The deployment of these additional CAF personnel, who join shipmates already standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other brave first responders, further demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Canada to doing its utmost to help British Columbians in need,” said Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander Joint Task Force Pacific, in a statement.
The additional members are set to arrive on Aug. 15 in the Cariboo region.
“We are incredibly grateful for the tireless efforts of all those engaged in the fight, and we recognize that more resources will be needed to sustain this important work through September, so we’re requesting those resources now, ” Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said in a release.