N.W.T. to send 16 firefighters to help fight B.C. wildfires
Four fire crews to assist crews battling fires in north of province
The Northwest Territories will send four fire crews to assist firefighters battling hundreds of active fires in British Columbia, a territorial government spokesperson announced Monday.
Frank Lepine, the director of forest management for the territory's Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said in a press briefing that the territory will be sending 16 firefighters to Prince George, which is surrounded by active fires.
"We are going to send four initial attack crews [of four people each] to help out in B.C.," Lepine said. "They'll be driving down there, so that they have their initial attack trucks and their initial attack equipment."
As of Monday afternoon, 220 fires were burning across the province of B.C. More than 14,000 people have been displaced so far this summer by the hot, dry conditions.
Lepine said that the province reached out to the N.W.T. for help on Saturday. The four crews — three based in the Deh Cho and one based in the South Slave — will leave on Wednesday.
Lepine did not speculate as to how long the crews would be in the province, but said that "the usual period is a maximum of 19 days."
The N.W.T. has so far seen fewer fires than usual this year.
The exception is near Fort Good Hope, pop. 516, in the Sahtu region where a state of emergency has been declared due to an 8,000-hectare wildfire burning outside of the community.
The N.W.T. is also well equipped to fight fires, having upgraded its fleet of water bombers following the 2014 fire season, which was recorded as the worst season for fires in 30 years.
With files from Jackie Mckay