B.C. lends first responders to Alberta to help with wildfires burning out of control

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      More than 260 B.C. firefighters are on their way to Alberta.

      “A total of 267 B.C. personnel will be deployed on Wednesday, May 22, and Thursday, May 23, 2019, to help where needed,” reads a B.C. ministry of forests, lands and natural resource operations media release.

      “Considering the current and forecasted fire situation in British Columbia, sufficient personnel and resources remain in the province to respond appropriately to any fire activity here,” it continues. “Crews can be deployed out-of-province for up to 19 days, but can be recalled at any time.”

      The contingent that’s on its way to Alberta consists of 230 firefighters, a 19-member incident-management team, 14 supervisors, and three agency representatives.

      Alberta will pay for their deployment, as is the norm for such inter-provincial requests for assistance.

      According to Alberta Wildfire, there are currently 27 forest fires burning across the province. Five of them are categorized as “out of control”.

      The B.C. government’s release notes that recent wildfire seasons in B.C. have been especially severe, and Alberta has assisted B.C. authorities in responding to those fires.

      “The B.C. Wildfire Service recognizes the importance of sharing firefighting resources given the invaluable assistance Alberta has provided to B.C. during the last two wildfire seasons, which were the worst in the province's history,” it reads.