B.C. gets firefighting help from other provinces — and from Mexico and New Zealand

There are now more than 2,200 people involved in fighting 446 wildfires in B.C., with more arriving in the next week

British Columbia is getting help from across Canada and around the world as wildfires continue to burn.

The B.C. Wildfire Service said out-of-province firefighting personnel and aircraft will continue to arrive over the next week to help battle 446 wildfires burning throughout the province.

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Twenty firefighters from Alberta and 15 firefighters from the Northwest Territories arrived in B.C. on Thursday, while 20 firefighters and 10 support staff from Saskatchewan are expected to arrive on Sunday.

In addition, four Canadair CL-415 water-skimming aircraft from Quebec will be arriving in the coming days, joining more than 50 aircraft now 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, while 25 support staff from Australia are also expected to arrive next week.

There are now more than 2,200 people involved in fighting wildfires in B.C.

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, B.C. will foot the bill for out-of-province help.

The B.C. Wildfire Service also has arrangements with more than 50 companies from all regions of the province to provide contract firefighters and specialized staff, such as tree fallers and heavy equipment operators. The service now has in excess of 900 contract personnel working on wildfires throughout the province and more than130 pieces of contracted heavy equipment on the fireline.

Of the 446 blazes in B.C., 19 are considered fires of note, including seven in the Kamloops Fire Centre, a massive area that stretches north from north of Wells Gray Park south to the Canada/U.S. border and from northwest of Whistler to east of Kelowna.

The even fires of note in the Kamloops Fire Centre are: Goode’s Creek in Kelowna's Okanagan Mountain Park, Mabel Creek northeast of Vernon, Monte Lake just east of Kamloops, Placer Mountain south of Princeton, Proctor Road northeast of Lumby, Snowy Mountain south of Keremeos and Sugar Mountain northeast of Vernon.

Environment Canada is calling for sunshine and temperatures in the mid-30s through the coming week.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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