Is­land fire­fight­ers head­ing to B.C. to help bat­tle wild­fires

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND -

A dozen fire­fight­ers from P.E.I. are leav­ing to help with the in­creas­ingly se­ri­ous wild­fire sit­u­a­tion in Western Canada.

The 12 Is­lan­ders leave for Bri­tish Columbia on Mon­day as part of a joint Prince Ed­ward Is­land/New­found­land and Labrador fire team.

This rep­re­sents the largest con­tin­gent of for­est fire­fight­ers the Is­land has ever sent to a na­tional emer­gency.

“Over the last few years we have sent fire­fight­ers from our depart­ment to many ar­eas of Western and North­ern Canada and we are pleased to sup­port this re­quest as well,” said Com­mu­ni­ties, Land and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Robert Mitchell.

“In ad­di­tion to the as­sis­tance they will pro­vide, they will re­turn home with deeper knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence that will be in­valu­able should the Is­land face se­ri­ous wild­fires in fu­ture years.”

Of the 12 fire­fight­ers, 11 will be ac­tively in­volved in fire sup­pres­sion while the re­main­ing mem­ber will serve as the Is­land’s li­ai­son rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

A re­cent bout of hot, dry and windy weather in cen­tral B.C., com­bined with hun­dreds of square kilo­me­tres of dead pine killed by the moun­tain pine bee­tle, helped to cre­ate the cur­rent fire emer­gency in the Western prov­ince.

P.E.I.’s for­est weather in­dex is also cur­rently high due to re­cent dry weather, and the prov­ince has ad­vised that all burn­ing per­mits are sus­pended un­til con­di­tions im­prove.

The ma­jor­ity of the Is­land’s for­est fire­fight­ers are still in the prov­ince should they be needed.

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