Trudeau thanks crews for ef­forts fight­ing B.C. fires

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau thanked those on the front lines of Bri­tish Columbia’s fire­fight­ing ef­forts as he stopped in Wil­liams Lake on Mon­day.

Trudeau ad­dressed about 250 peo­ple from the fire ser­vice, po­lice and mil­i­tary who have been help­ing keep the wild­fires from over­run­ning com­mu­ni­ties in what has been a dev­as­tat­ing fire sea­son.

He thanked the work­ers on be­half of all Cana­di­ans for “step­ping up,’’ say­ing it is re­as­sur­ing for peo­ple to see ev­ery­body pulling to­gether.

“It’s some­thing that is just part of who we are as Cana­di­ans, as Bri­tish Columbians and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it.’’

The prime min­is­ter said dif­fer­ent lev­els of gov­ern­ment will work in the com­ing months to set things back to nor­mal for com­mu­ni­ties dam­aged by fires.

“I just re­ally want to most on be­half of all Cana­di­ans say thank you for the strength and the lead­er­ship you’ve shown over the past weeks and will con­tinue to show I know for as long as nec­es­sary.’’

Dozens of homes have been lost as hun­dreds of fires have burned around the prov­ince.

Sev­eral hun­dred res­i­dents cheered as Trudeau and Premier John Hor­gan emerged from a lo­cal recre­ation cen­tre, and the cheer­ing grew even louder as the fire ser­vice per­sonal filed out of the build­ing.

Thou­sands of Wil­liams Lake res­i­dents re­turned to their homes over the week­end af­ter they were forced to leave July 15 when a fast-mov­ing fire en­croached on their com­mu­nity.

Trudeau’s visit comes as the fore­cast calls for another week of hot, dry weather.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada has is­sued a special warn­ing about a pend­ing heat wave for Metro Van­cou­ver, the Fraser Val­ley, Howe Sound and sev­eral parts of Van­cou­ver Is­land.

Res­i­dents have been told to ex­pect day­time tem­per­a­tures to soar to the mid to up­per 30s.

A fore­cast of light­ning in the In­te­rior, where the ma­jor­ity of the fires are al­ready burn­ing, could make the fire sit­u­a­tion even worse.

Fresh fire­fight­ing troops have been brought in from Yukon to help the thou­sands of crews al­ready in­volved in the bat­tle.

The ter­ri­tory’s wild­fire ser­vice says 16 fire­fight­ers and an air-tanker group were in Prince Ge­orge over the week­end.

Yukon’s fire sea­son is com­ing to a close, with the fire dan­ger rat­ing dip­ping through­out the ter­ri­tory.

About 3,700 peo­ple re­mained dis­placed in B.C. by the nearly 150 fires that were still burn­ing as of Sun­day.

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau meets fire­fight­ers, mem­bers of the Cana­dian Forces and RCMP of­fi­cers in Wil­liams Lake, B.C., on Mon­day July 31, 2017.

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