B.C. sends more firefighters to Ontario and Quebec

The BC Wildfire Service is sending 55 more firefighting personnel to Ontario and Quebec to help with firefighting efforts in those provinces.

They will join 145 firefighting personnel, who were deployed earlier this week.

When they arrive, the additional B.C. personnel will be deployed as needed in each province to help deal with increased wildfire activity. A total of 204 BC Wildfire Service personnel will have been deployed to Ontario and Quebec by Friday, July 13:

  • 60 firefighters (consisting of 20 Initial Attack Crews) and two agency representatives will be working in Ontario.
  • 140 firefighters (consisting of seven Unit Crews) and two agency representatives will be working in Quebec.

The additional request for assistance was made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the mutual sharing of firefighting resources between B.C. and other jurisdictions. All associated costs will be covered by the jurisdiction that requested the resources.

Crews can be deployed out-of-province for up to 19 days, but they can be recalled at any time. Sufficient personnel and resources will remain in B.C. to respond appropriately to any fire activity here.

Quick Facts:

  • Initial Attack Crew: Initial Attack firefighters operate as part of a three-person crew, and are usually the first on scene of a new wildfire. Once there, the initial attack crew works quickly to set up water pumps, remove fuel from the fire’s path and dig fireguards to help control or extinguish the blaze.
  • Unit Crew: A 20-person sustained action unit crew typically works on large fires, and can remain self-sufficient in the field for up to 72 hours at a time. Crew members receive extensive training and are knowledgeable about wildfire behaviour, fire management tactics and fireline equipment use.
  • Agency representative: The agency representative acts as a link between deployed crews and the BC Wildfire Service.