The Canadian Forces will provide:
* Up to 300 Standard BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) Tier III firefighting-trained CAF members in self-sufficient camps who will assist with the mop-up and monitoring stages of the wildfires, including air support. The BCWS will provide the supervision, training and equipment needed to keep the personnel safe.
* Temporary lodgings for firefighters transiting to and from remote locations.
None of the Province’s requests for military support have included deployments in an armed or law-enforcement capacity, or for front-line fire suppression.
In July, the Province requested and obtained CAF aid with emergency airlifts, followed by a second request for assistance in support of the RCMP efforts in the Williams Lake area. Military personnel have been in place specifically to help with ground and air evacuations, delivering essentials like food supplies by land and air, and maintaining road checkpoints throughout the areas affected by the fires.
Commander Joint Task Force Pacific, Rear-Admiral Art McDonald –
“Joint Task Force Pacific is always prepared to support our federal and provincial partners in keeping Canadians safe. This new deployment of personnel in support of the British Columbia Wildfire Service is a tangible demonstration of the federal government’s dedication to preserve life and property during this state of emergency in British Columbia.”
* The CAF has deployed a total of 650 personnel to British Columbia in support of this year’s firefighting efforts.
* Currently, there are 3,900 personnel fighting the wildfires, including 1,606 contractors and 647 from out of province.
* In 2003, 920 military personnel supported British Columbia’s wildfire fighting efforts.