Military officially deployed to support Alberta wildfire efforts

May 11 2023, 3:50 pm

The military has been deployed to support Alberta as the province battles “unprecedented” wildfires.

Troops from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3PPCLI) and 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (1CER) are moving out to establish bases of operations in Alberta, the province announced this morning.

Units will deploy to the Grande Prairie, Fox Creek and Drayton Valley areas over the next few days.

The forces will assist with fire mitigation efforts in these affected areas. They will also assist with essential firefighting duties and provide airlift resources for increased mobility and logistical purposes, such as evacuating isolated communities.

When required, the forces will provide heavy equipment resources, the province said.

Albertans can expect an increased military presence on roads and in the air, as some forces and equipment will be moved by Royal Canadian Air Force fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

Recent moisture and cooler air in central parts of the province have been a massive help in fighting wildfires, but conditions are expected to get hotter and drier over the weekend.

According to the province’s most recent wildfire update, there are 77 wildfires currently burning in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, 23 of which are classified as out of control.

There are 13 communities that remain under an evacuation order and 15 are on alert.

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