OTTAWA — The federal government is committing to providing help to the Northwest Territories as it pushes through its worst wildfire season on record.
Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan approved a request for federal assistance last week from the Government of the Northwest Territories to help combat wildfires that have caused widespread evacuations and damage to critical infrastructure.
“We are working closely with the Government of the Northwest Territories to ensure communities have the support they need,” said Sajjan, adding that Ottawa is mobilizing all necessary resources.
Officials from the Northwest Territories are reporting emergency crews are dealing with hundreds of active wildfires across the territory. Five communities were under evacuation orders as of Tuesday evening, and other areas were under evacuation alerts.
It’s being dubbed the worst wildfire season on record.
“My heart breaks for the people of the Northwest Territories, who are dealing with devastating wildfires,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to the region to assist and enable Type III fire-fighting, airlift resources for residents and personnel, and provide logistic support, planning and coordination support.
“During forest fires, floods and other times of need, the Canadian Armed Forces have always answered the call of service,” said Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of national defence, in a statement.
“We stand with the people of the Northwest Territories as they experience their worst fire season on record, and I am confident that our military personnel will do their utmost to assist their fellow Canadians.”
Ottawa said it is also providing funding dedicated to response and recovery activities for eligible First Nations and various rescue equipment from the Canadian Coast Guard, including water pumps.
Michael McLeod, the member of parliament for the Northwest Territories, said Canada is providing much-needed support as multiple communities deal with serious wildfires.
“Thank you to everyone who has assisted with getting residents out of harm’s way, and to the fire crews for their hard work throughout this unprecedented wildfire season,” he said.