B.C. sending 267 personnel to help battle Alberta wildfires
Smoke from a wildfire blankets the sky over High Level, Alta., on Monday, May 20, 2019.
CTV News Vancouver
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019 3:53PM PDT
The B.C. government is deploying hundreds of firefighters to neighbouring Alberta, where crews are already grappling with several out-of-control wildfires.
The B.C. Wildfire Service said 267 personnel are being flown over on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, including 230 firefighters, a 19-person incident management team, 14 supervisors and three agency representatives.
While tinder dry conditions in some areas have raised serious concerns about the threat wildfires pose within British Columbia this season, the province said it's committed to sharing resources while they're available.
The government noted the "invaluable assistance Alberta has provided to B.C. during the last two wildfire seasons, which were the worst in the province's history."
One of the four uncontrolled wildfires currently burning in Alberta has already forced the evacuation of the entire town of High Level, and triggered a state of emergency for the region. The blaze spans about 70,000 hectares, making it about the size of Edmonton.
The B.C. Wildfire Service said the crews being dispatched next door will provide help wherever needed throughout the province.
Officials said "sufficient personnel and resources" are being held back to deal with any wildfires that may spark in B.C., and that the firefighters heading to Alberta can be recalled at any time.
Alta. Premier Jason Kenney said additional help is also coming in from Ontario and Nova Scotia this week.