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B.C., federal officials to discuss wildfire response, military deployed to assess


A working group comprised of members of Public Safety Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces and British Columbia emergency management and wildfire officials are set to meet today as several hundred blazes burn across the province.

A statement from B.C.’s Ministry of Emergency Management says the meeting will focus on plans for deploying federal resources after the province requested help in the fight.

It says two military reconnaissance teams were deployed Sunday, with a “land force team” arriving at the ministry’s emergency operations centre in Prince George and an air force team bound for the BC Wildfire co-ordination centre in Kamloops.

The ministry says the teams are conducting assessments that will inform deployment plans for additional federal resources to come.

Firefighting personnel from the United States, Mexico and New Zealand are also in the province, and teams were set to arrive from Australia over the weekend.

Around 380 blazes are burning throughout B.C., with more than 20 considered highly visible, threatening or potentially damaging “wildfires of note.”

Many of those fires, along with more than 70 wildfire-related evacuation alerts and orders, are clustered in parts of B.C.’s central Interior.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 17, 2023.

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