Canadian military moves to provide air support as British Columbia battles wildfires

Written by on July 5, 2021

Authorities in western province of British Columbia are fighting large blazes that broke out after an historic heat wave
Canada’s military will provide air support to the western province of British Columbia (BC) as it battles a series of massive wildfires that broke out after days of record temperatures.

In a statement on Sunday, the federal government said the army would help transport “personnel, supplies and equipment into and out of areas affected by fires” in the province, as well as aid in any emergency evacuations.

Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said the military’s support would be available until July 19.

“Canadians can be assured that all orders of government are working together to keep British Columbians and their communities safe,” Blair said in the statement.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes due to the blazes, which come after a record-breaking heat wave is believed to have contributed to hundreds of deaths across the province, according to local officials.

Experts say climate change is worsening extreme weather events, such as the wildfires and heat wave seen in BC – and that has prompted calls for the Canadian government to move away from large fossil fuel projects, such as pipelines.

On Sunday afternoon, a BC Wildfire Service dashboard showed 184 fires were still active in BC, and authorities said they feared more could be ignited.

Credit: Al Jazeera

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