Ottawa – National Defence
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is preparing to send up to 1,400 personnel, including a firefighting force and integral logistics support, to help fight fires in Saskatchewan. Also, CFB Cold Lake (4 Wing) is prepared to provide additional housing for evacuated residents should it be necessary.
Saskatchewan made the Request for Assistance yesterday to the Government of Canada, asking for CAF support to provincial efforts in response to wildfires in northern areas of the province.
- The Province of Saskatchewan requested assistance from Public Safety Canada, who in turn, requested CAF assistance through the Minister of National Defence on July 5.
- Before CAF personnel are sent to fight fires, they will be appropriately equipped and receive required training for fighting wildfires. They will continue to assist with firefighting efforts until provincial authorities can handle the situation.
- The CAF continues to closely monitor the situation and work in direct partnership with other federal, provincial, and municipal partners in order to provide the best support possible.
- Public Safety Canada has the lead responsibility for the emergency response and CAF personnel are in continuous liaison with them as well as with provincial authorities and our other federal partners.
- CAF assistance in support of evacuation efforts in Saskatchewan 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.
“The Canadian Armed Forces always stands ready to offer assistance in support of civilian authorities during any crisis in Canada, including natural disasters. I am proud of the efforts our members are making to help those affected by the wildfires in Saskatchewan. This is yet another example of how the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces consider it their highest duty and privilege to help Canadians in need, whenever and wherever required.”
~ The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence