About 300 firefighters and support staff from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick are arriving in the B-C Interior to relieve one-thousand B-C firefighters exhausted from their relentless work battling wildfires.
About 14-thousand people have been evacuated from their homes, with another 10-thousand in Williams Lake on alert and told to be ready to flee with minutes’ notice.
More than 200 fires are burning across the province, and windy, hot and dry conditions are expected to stick around for several days.
The military is providing air support for emergency evacuations and to move firefighters and equipment around the fire zone.
Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale says they responded immediately after B.C sent in a formal request for assistance on Sunday.
“There were two specific kinds of assistance that British Columbia requested, first of all access to the National Emergency Supplies Stock Pile, that is run by the Public Health Agency of Canada, it is the basic human comforts that are needed when people are dislocated in an evacuation,” Goodale said.
Goodale added they have already sent 3,000 cots and blankets.
B.C’s other request was for military air assets, to assist with emergency evacuations, move first responders in the fire zones and to support local law enforcement.
Saskatchewan is also lending a helping hand as well, with the Saskatchewan government has provided crews in BC with one wildfire inspector, as well two 580A air tankers and a bird dog aircraft, with crew – stationed in Abbotsford.
Executive Director of Wildfire Management, Steve Roberts said one wildfire investigator was dispatched on the weekend, and more personnel are set to leave Tuesday.