62 Mexican firefighters join wildfire fight in northern Alberta

Five dozen firefighters from Mexico are in Edmonton Thursday getting ready to help fight wildfires in northern Alberta.

Firefighting season ends in Mexico freeing up brigadistas

'They're happy to come and help up here'

8 years ago
Duration 0:42
Mexican firefighter Hector Trejo arrives in Edmonton with 61 colleagues

Five dozen firefighters from Mexico are in Edmonton Thursday getting ready to help fight wildfires in northern Alberta.

The 62 brigadistas will join the 1,700 firefighters currently working in the province.
62 Mexican firefighters arrived at the Edmonton International Airport Wednesday night to fight wildfires in northern Alberta. (CBC)

Firefighter Hector Trejo says the firefighting in the state of Jalisco season ended a week ago, about the time they received the request to come to Alberta.

"For most of the guys it's their passion to fight fires, get to know the forest, and what a better way to do it than in another country and helping others," he said.

One of the biggest adjustments for his crew will be using more water than they traditionally use against the flames, Trejo said.

The firefighters from the Mexican state of Jalisco will help battle more than 90 wildfires in northern Alberta. (CBC)
"Our resources are limited," he said. "We don't have as much manpower or equipment. There's more water in the forest up here than Mexico so that's a bit of a challenge for us down there and then a challenge up here using water pumps and stuff."

He said firefighters from Alberta and Mexico have had a partnership for the past 10 years.

Alberta wildfire information officer Geoffrey Driscoll said the province is grateful for the help. 

"Every little bit helps and we're certainly happy that our partners in Jalisco were able to give us firefighters," he said. "They've got a big job ahead of them joining the other 1,700 firefighters who are here. So they're going to get to work and they're going to get these fires contained as quickly as possible."

There are currently more than 90 fires burning in the province.