The BC Wildfire Management Branch has sent 31 firefighters to the Yukon to help crews battling a massive wildfire there.

This latest deployment comes on the heels of the 77 firefighters sent to Alberta to help crews battle a large blaze. Another 21 personnel have been deployed to Alaska to assist crews there. Considering the current and forecasted fire situation in British Columbia, sufficient personnel and resources remain in the province to respond appropriately to any fire activity here. Crews can be deployed out-of-province for up to 19 days, but they can be recalled at any time. 

This latest 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 are covered by the jurisdiction that requests the resources. Ten three-person initial attack crews and one agency representative left B.C. on Tuesday and have arrived in Whitehorse.

“Firefighting resources from B.C. may be sent to other jurisdictions if conditions here allow it. We can also request assistance from our Canadian and international partners when necessary. This sharing of firefighting resources is mutually beneficial and we are pleased to assist our Yukon neighbours,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson.

Initial attack crews are often the first firefighters to arrive at a wildfire site and are responsible for containing the fire at the smallest possible size. These rapid-response crews are self-sufficient and can remain on a fire for up to 24 hours without the need to replenish supplies.