B.C. to receive federal aid as wildfires continue to spread

VANCOUVER — Canada’s minister of emergency preparedness said Sunday the federal government will commit to helping officials in British Columbia as they battle ongoing wildfires.

British Columbia is currently experiencing a challenging wildfire season, which has seen 1,062 wildfires burn more than 1.26 million hectares of land across the province, well above the seasonal average.

“We are working closely with the Government of British Columbia to mobilize federal resources to help manage the wildfires,” said Bill Blair, minister of emergency preparedness and president of the King’s Privy Council for Canada.

Blair expressed sincere gratitude to first responders for their commitment to keeping Canadians safe and said federal officials would support them.

Canada’s national defence minister, Anita Anand, said the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) stand ready to assist B.C. in combating the wildfires and help evacuate isolated communities.

She said personnel and resources will be deployed to assist and enable fire fighting, as well as planning and coordination support.

Meanwhile, Ottawa also plans to provide support through several federal departments, including the Canadian Coast Guard, Indigenous Services Canada, Transport Canada, Parks Canada, and the RCMP.

“I know how devastating wildfires can be, and I want to assure the people of British Columbia that the Canadian Coast Guard is ready to support you,” said Joyce Murray, minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“We are deeply grateful to the first responders, firefighters and all those working hard and risking their lives to contain and suppress these wildfires.”

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