Nearly 200 wildfires are currently raging across British Columbia.
According to the BC Wildfire Service’s monitoring dashboard, there are 196 active fires in the province, 40 of which began in the last two days alone.
Twelve of the blazes are listed as “wildfires of note,” meaning they are highly visible or potentially pose a threat to public safety.
Lightning is believed to have sparked 132 of the active fires, while people are to blame for 15 of them, according to the dashboard. What caused the remaining 49 wildfires is unknown.
Forty-six of the active wildfires are listed as being under control, while 64 are out of control. Thirty-four are “being held,” meaning they are unlikely to spread further.
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The Government of Canada has accepted a formal Request for Federal Assistance from BC as it battles the “unprecedented” wildfire situation.
Canadian Armed Forces assets will be deployed to assist with transporting personnel and supplies in and out of affected areas, and may support with evacuation if required.
A spokesperson for the Department of National Defence told Daily Hive that allocated resources include three CH-146 Griffon helicopters and one CC-130J Hercules.
Two CH-147F Chinook helicopters are being sent from Petawawa, Ontario, and the Armed Forces’ Immediate Response Unit may be deployed as well.
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Edmonton is being used as a forward operating location (FOL), at which personnel, equipment, and resources can be gathered for the mission.
“The women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces have experience helping to battle wildfires across the country,” said Harjit Sajjan, the Minister of National Defence.
“They will use this experience as we help British Columbia in their fight. No matter the challenge, our members are always ready to answer the call.”