Alberta is sending RCMP officers and firefighting crews to help battle the massive wildfires burning in central British Columbia. More than 110 firefighting personnel and equipment are already on the ground, including seven aircraft and 300,000 feet of hose.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry O’Neil Carlier says he’s confident in the abilities of firefighters from both provinces to get the fires under control.
“I’m very proud and grateful that we’re able to help out B.C. now in their time of need as they did in our time of need during the Fort McMurray fire.”
Carlier says the province is prepared to send more firefighting resources if needed, and stresses that Albertans should be taking every precaution to prevent any human-caused wildfires in this province.
“It’s unfortunate that 70 per cent of wildfires in Alberta – and I assume it’s similar in B.C. – are caused by humans, so all of us need to do more.”
40 RCMP officers will also arrive in B.C. later this week, under a policing agreement between the two provinces that lets them temporarily move officers from one to an emergency in another. Assistant Commissioner of Alberta RCMP Criminal Operations Marlin Degrand echoes Carlier’s appreciation of being able to help.
“We are proud to stand beside our colleagues in British Columbia as they did in our time of need last year during the Fort McMurray wildfires. This is one of the strengths of the RCMP as the national police force – to mobilize resources where and when needed in our country.”
The province says operations in Alberta will not be affected by resources deployed elsewhere.
Story By Erica Fisher.