Mexican firefighters arrive in Chilliwack to join the wildfire battle

More than 100 men and women scheduled to be deployed to the Interior Friday

More than 100 firefighters from Mexico arrived in Chilliwack Wednesday in the first step en route to the B.C. interior to help battle the wildfires.

The wildfire personnel arrived at the RCMP’s Pacific Regional Training Centre (PRTC), stayed overnight in the hotel, and were set to begin orientation early Thursday.

The deployment is the latest help from outside the province aimed to help battle the hundreds of wildfires in what is turning out to be one of the worse wildfire seasons in B.C. ever.

Since April 1, 491,000 hectares have burned across the province, sending this season over the 483,000 hectares burned in 1961. Only 1958 was even worse – 855,000 hectares burned that year.

The provincial government announced on Tuesday that because of the sustained hot and dry weather, which continues to exacerbate the already busy summer wildfire season, additional firefighting resources from the United States and Mexico were engaged to assist the BC Wildfire Service.

The 108 wildfire personnel from Mexico are scheduled to be deployed to the Interior on Friday. This is the first time Mexican personnel have assisted B.C., although they have been employed many times in Alberta.

This is in addition to 27 firefighters from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan who were brought into B.C. in addition to crews from Ontario that arrived last weekend. These firefighters were imported from Ontario as part of the cross-border Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact.

“Given the severity of B.C. wildfires this year, we greatly appreciate the ability to draw on personnel from beyond our borders,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We thank all incoming crews, as well as all our B.C. crews and contractors in their ongoing firefighting efforts.”

The firefighters from Mexico and the U.S. are trained to the standards of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and will be valuable as they assist with B.C.’s current wildfire situation. The cost of bringing in the international resources will be covered by the Province of B.C.

Hot and dry weather conditions have kept a persistently high fire danger rating throughout B.C. Firefighting crews are on standby in all six of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for an anticipated increase in fire starts over the next few days due to unsettled weather in the forecast, which may bring lightning.

To report a new wildfire or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

 

Just Posted

Promoting Langley City: new agency launches

Discover Langley City created in wake of split with Township

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

Surrey School District refuses to rent Bell Centre for Parents United Canada rally

Group is seeking court injunction to stop an LGBTQ program in public schools

Former U.S. Olympian urges audience at TWU to stay true to themselves

‘I made the decision to lie,’ says Marion Jones

Motocross kid takes torch from dad

The name ‘Charlton’ is synonymous with dirt bike racing

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Most Read