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Out-of-province firefighters arriving

Out-of-province firefighting personnel and aircraft will be arriving in B.C. over the next week to help the BC Wildfire Service battle 446 wildfires burning throughout the province.

* Twenty firefighters from Alberta and 15 firefighters from the Northwest Territories arrived in B.C. on Thursday, Aug. 2.

* Twenty firefighters and 10 support staff from Saskatchewan are scheduled to arrive in the province on Sunday, Aug. 5.

* Four Canadair CL-415 water-skimming aircraft from Quebec will be arriving in the coming days, joining over 150 aircraft that are currently supporting ground crews.

* Another 65 personnel from New Zealand (a mix of firefighters and support staff) and 62 firefighters from Mexico will arrive in B.C. on Monday, Aug. 6.

* A group of 25 support staff from Australia are also expected to arrive next week.

These resources will join over 2,200 people currently engaged in the Province’s wildfire response, including BC Wildfire Service firefighters, government staff, forest industry personnel and contractors.

Requests for out-of-province assistance with wildfires are made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), which co-ordinates the sharing of firefighting resources within Canada. Under mutual aid resource sharing agreements, the jurisdiction requesting the resources pays the costs associated with each deployment.

The BC Wildfire Service also has arrangements with over 50 companies from all regions of the province to provide contract firefighters and specialized staff, such as tree fallers and heavy equipment operators. As of Aug. 2, the BC Wildfire Service had over 900 contract personnel working on wildfires throughout the province and over 130 pieces of contracted heavy equipment on the fireline.

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