Yukon Sends Scores of Firefighters to British Columbia

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The Yukon government has sent 40 firefighters to help combat raging wildfires in B.C.

The crew landed in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday for a 19-day deployment. Four supervisory staff travelled to British Columbia, too.

As per a Yukon government news release, hot and dry conditions spurred the region to request support from other jurisdictions. The deployment is to reciprocate wildfire support from other jurisdictions. The deployment is to reciprocate wildfire support British Columbia has offered to Yukon in the past, it says.

Thousands of home in the province’s interior remains under evacuation order and the provincial government has extended the state of emergency till the end of the month.

According to a wildfire dashboard set up by the B.C government, 24 new fires have begun this week.

Most firefighters are from Yukon First Nations Wildfire

Most of the firefighters the Yukon government is sending south are from Yukon First Nations Wildfire, a contract firm, whose shareholders include Yukon First Nations.

Chief Executive Officer Chad Thomas told local media he became emotional as he watched the 22-member team leave for B.C. on Tuesday.

“You have a huge, huge moment of pride,” he said, adding that several hours of training go into deployments like this one. “This is the first export outside the territory that I haven’t been on in a while.

“I was on the phone with them last night until something like 11:30, just listening to a lot of excited voices,” Thomas added. “They’re really happy to be down there, too, so they can showcase their talents and skills.”

He said whereas it rained yesterday in parts of B.C., the rain quickly evaporated.

“Now the fire behaviour has increased very rapidly, so I think that I think they’re going to be dealing with rates that are going to be very, very fast,” Thomas said. “They’re going to be dealing with intense wildfires.

“I think that they’re going to be in good shape.”

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