With more than 300 wildfires burning in the province for most of the past week, British Columbia is providing much-needed outside help from wildfires.

Emergency Management BC announced on Friday (July 16) that a team of 20 firefighters from Quebec was expected to arrive on the same day, and a contingent of 100 Mexican firefighters was expected to land in Abbotsford on July 24.

“We are deploying all available resources to respond to hundreds of wildfires across the province and will continue to do everything we can to protect communities,” Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and attorney general, said in the statement. “We are grateful to the firefighters in Mexico and Quebec who will help strengthen our response to wildfires and protect the people of British Columbia.”

Emergency Management BC is part of the Ministry of Public Security and Attorney General and was previously known as the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP).

“We appreciate the firefighting assistance we are receiving from other Canadian provinces and from Mexico,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in the statement. “These kits are a welcome addition to our own firefighters and contractors, who are working very hard to help keep BC communities safe.”

The BC Wildland Fire Service (part of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) will lead the new crews to work on suppressing wildfires in the Interior, where some of the worst fires remain unchecked. and that have led to the issuance of evacuation and air quality alerts.

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Prime Minister John Horgan has yet to declare a state of emergency in British Columbia as a result of the wildfire situation, telling reporters on July 16 that he will consider issuing such a statement when front-line agencies involved in the day a day advise you to do so. situation.

The new firefighters will work on COVID-19 “bubbles” separate from BC crews while fighting fires and when away from the front line.

Mexicans will be tested for COVID-19 both before their departure and after their arrival, when vaccines will be offered, according to the statement.


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