Nearly 700 more international firefighters coming to Canada to help battle fires


Published June 5, 2023 at 7:57 am

OTTAWA — Almost 700 firefighters from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the United States are set to arrive in Canada over the next two weeks to help with the unusually severe start to the wildfire season.

There are already more than 500 international firefighters, incident commanders and other workers in Alberta, which has been battling multiple severe fires since early May.

Most of the additional help will also go to Alberta, though some are being sent to Nova Scotia where out-of-control fires have been wreaking havoc since last weekend.

Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says the Canada Interagency Forest Fire Centre ensures that crews from across the provinces and from other countries are sent to areas that need the most help.

Blair says this fire season has been unprecedented both for the number of big and uncontained fires this early in the year and the number of provinces affected at the same time.

There are 214 fires burning and 93 of them are out of control, up from 87 out-of-control fires Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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