Ottawa – The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have sent air assets, liaison and personnel to support the ongoing emergency response to the wildfires in British Columbia.
The Province of British Columbia requested Government of Canada assistance in the form of CAF air assets to conduct a variety of tasks, including assisting with the evacuation of the local population affected by the wildfires and assisting the ground operations by providing airlift capacities for first responders and equipment.
The CAF stand ready to provide highly-trained personnel and unique resources tailored to help Canadians during periods of uncertainty and distress following natural disasters.
“Skilled and dedicated Canadian Armed Forces personnel always stand ready to help fellow Canadians in need. Partners across the Government of Canada, including the Canadian Armed Forces, will continue to provide support to the Province of British Columbia as they fight these wildfires and will continue to do so as long as the need exists.”
— Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
- The CAF has deployed a CC-177 Globemaster III, a CC-130J Hercules, two CH-147F Chinook, and three Ch-146 Griffon to British Columbia to support the wildfires operations.
- CAF personnel will not conduct law enforcement or security tasks during their deployment.
- Public Safety Canada is responsible for coordinating the Government of Canada emergency response. Canadian Armed Forces personnel are in continuous liaison with Public Safety, other federal partners, and the Province of British Columbia to ensure a synchronized response to situation.
- CAF assistance in support of the Province of British Columbia’s emergency response is undertaken as part of Operation LENTUS, the CAF contingency plan that outlines the joint response to provide support for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response to provincial and territorial authorities in the case of a major natural disaster.
Statement from Minister Goodale regarding wildfires in British Columbia
Regina, July 9, 2017 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement about the wildfire situation in British Columbia:
“My thoughts and prayers are with those displaced and affected by the wildfires in British Columbia. I am heartened by the resilience, cooperation and courage demonstrated by the communities and emergency personnel facing this quickly evolving situation.
On behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, and I have accepted a request for federal assistance in dealing with the wildfire situation from my provincial counterpart, Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister responsible for Emergency Management BC.
The Government Operations Centre is working diligently to coordinate the federal response to ensure that help is provided as soon as possible, and will continue to monitor and assess the wildfire situation as it evolves. Our officials are working closely with federal and provincial partners on planning the details of this assistance, including support from Canadian Armed Forces.
I strongly encourage impacted residents to follow the directions and advice of their municipal law enforcement and first responders.
On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to thank local volunteers, the RCMP members and all of the first responders who continue to work night and day to keep everyone safe.”
Source: National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces