FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – British Columbians have shown an outpouring of aid for their Alberta neighbours in the wake of last week’s wildfire that forced thousands from their homes in the Fort McMurray area.
In addition to the BC Government’s $300,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross, The government has announced that in the past week, over $276,000 was donated by British Columbians at BC Liquor Stores.
The BC Wildfire Service has also deployed two fire investigators and one fire weather forecaster to Alberta, in addition to the 187 firefighters, 25 support staff including two members of the Doig River First Nation, an 11-person Incident Management Team, eight helicopters and ten pieces of heavy equipment currently battling the cross-border Siphon Creek fire. That fire is currently 30% contained, although Fire Information Officer Noelle Kekula says that those figures may change over the weekend as crews conduct controlled burns on the 58,000 hectare fire.
150 RCMP tactical troop and traffic service officers from throughout the province have also been temporarily redeployed to northern Alberta by the federal government. When asked, “E” Division spokesperson Staff Sargeant Rob Vermeulen was unable to confirm whether those deployed included members from the BC Peace Region.