Mexican firefighters arrive in Chilliwack to join the wildfire battle

More than 100 men and women scheduled to be deployed to the Interior Friday

More than 100 firefighters from Mexico arrived in Chilliwack last Wednesday in the first step en route to the B.C. interior to help battle the wildfires.

The wildfire personnel arrived at the RCMP’s Pacific Regional Training Centre (PRTC), stayed overnight in the hotel, and were set to begin orientation early Thursday.

The deployment is the latest help from outside the province aimed to help battle the hundreds of wildfires in what is turning out to be one of the worse wildfire seasons in B.C. ever.

Since April 1, 491,000 hectares have burned across the province, sending this season over the 483,000 hectares burned in 1961. Only 1958 was even worse – 855,000 hectares burned that year.

The provincial government announced last Tuesday that because of the sustained hot and dry weather, which continues to exacerbate the already busy summer wildfire season, additional firefighting resources from the United States and Mexico were engaged to assist the BC Wildfire Service.

The 108 wildfire personnel from Mexico are scheduled to be deployed to the Interior on Friday. This is the first time Mexican personnel have assisted B.C., although they have been employed many times in Alberta.

This is in addition to 27 firefighters from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan who were brought into B.C. in addition to crews from Ontario that arrived last weekend. These firefighters were imported from Ontario as part of the cross-border Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact.

“Given the severity of B.C. wildfires this year, we greatly appreciate the ability to draw on personnel from beyond our borders,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We thank all incoming crews, as well as all our B.C. crews and contractors in their ongoing firefighting efforts.”

The firefighters from Mexico and the U.S. are trained to the standards of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and will be valuable as they assist with B.C.’s current wildfire situation. The cost of bringing in the international resources will be covered by the Province of B.C.

Hot and dry weather conditions have kept a persistently high fire danger rating throughout B.C. Firefighting crews are on standby in all six of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for an anticipated increase in fire starts over the next few days due to unsettled weather in the forecast, which may bring lightning.

To report a new wildfire or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

 

Just Posted

Community gardens looking for more involvement

More interest means more expansion and funding

Time is running out to have your say about the cannabis framework

Albertans can take an online survey until midnight, Oct. 27

Cadet group looking for new members

Kids 12 - 18 can join the group to participate in summer camps and a variety of activities

Sylvan Lake flu clinics planned

Flu shots will begin on Oct. 23 across the province

Voter turnout down in this election

The voter turnout was estimated to be about 17 per cent, down from previous election

VIDEO: Tragically Hip singer-songwriter Gord Downie dies at 53

Downie had been fighting brain cancer for over a year

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

IIO concludes RCMP action not cause of wanted man’s death in Revelstoke

Man linked to Calgary homicide died in Revelstoke following five-hour standoff

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

Firefighter dies battling wildfire in Alberta

“It’s terrible. It will devastate the community for a while here. He’ll surely be missed.”

Health ministers to talk cannabis, opioids

Health ministers set to discuss cannabis and opioids during two-day meeting in Edmonton

Most Read