Calgary

Alberta soldiers deployed to Saskatchewan to fight wildfires

About 450 members of the Princess Patricia Light Infantry in Edmonton have been deployed to help battle the flames in northern Saskatchewan.

First time since 2003 Canadian military personnel brought in to battle inferno

Soldiers receive protective equipment before deploying to support wildfire operations in Prince Albert, Sask. (Master Cpl. Mélanie Ferguson/Canadian Army )

About 450 members of the Princess Patricia Light Infantry in Edmonton have been deployed to help extinguish forest fires in northern Saskatchewan.

​"We're accustomed to dealing and operating in high-threat areas," said Col. Trevor Cadieu, commander of the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade in Edmonton.

The Calgary Eyeopener reached Cadieu Wednesday morning from the armoury in Prince Alberta, Sask., where soldiers were getting geared up to conduct fire line operations in La Ronge and Montreal Lake.

He says the Canadian Armed Forces has brought in light armoured vehicles to help troops reach some of the tougher areas.

"They'll be conducting patrols in various communities and identify and suppress hot spots."

A fire crew battles a blaze in the La Ronge area on northern Saskatchewan on July 4, 2015. (Government of Saskatchewan/CP)

The last time military personnel were brought in to manage wildfires was in British Columbia in 2003.

 "What is not uncommon to us though, is deploying troops in support of Canadians. It's our number one priority," said Cadieu.

He adds that many members of Princess Patricia Light Infantry in Edmonton who are currently in northern Saskatchewan also assisted in the 2013 Alberta floods, says Cadieu.

He says troops will stay as long as they are needed.

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