CAF members deploy to assist in B.C. wildfire response

Canadian Armed Forces members are deploying assist the wildfire response efforts in British Columbia. Photo: DND/CAF

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Following the request for assistance from the Province of British Columbia on August 13, the 3rd Canadian Division has deployed a team to conduct liaison and coordination with Joint Task Force Pacific (JTFP) and the B.C. Wildfire Service.

This was followed by the Land Task Force (LTF) reconnaissance party of 13 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members to establish the reception location for arriving troops, and to determine where CAF personnel could best assist.

The first wave of soldiers from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), from 3rd Canadian Division departed Edmonton, Alberta on the morning of August 15. The group deployed with dozens of support vehicles consisting of medium and heavy transportation trucks, ambulances, maintenance and utility vehicles.

A second group of Edmonton-based troops are on their way as of August 16. The total number of CAF members deployed to B.C. will reach approximately 170 by nightfall that same day. The CAF will stage from Kelowna and another location in Merritt.

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This Land Task Force is comprised of 100 soldiers conducting mop-up fire line tasks. This team also includes the personnel needed for command, control and integral sustainment of CAF operations. The first firefighting area where CAF will be supporting the British Columbia Wildlife Service is at the Gottfriedson Mountain Fire.

Joint Task Force Pacific, commanded by Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, is responsible for the conduct of military operations in B.C. during Operation LENTUS, in support of Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) and the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The CAF is committed to ensuring a strong and continuous coordination with the Province of B.C. and other government departments and agencies, as we work together to help British Columbians during this domestic emergency

We are here to help, and encourage the public to follow the instructions from the Province of B.C. and the B.C. Wildfire Service.

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