Alberta understands toll of wildfires, sending help to B.C.: premier

By on July 11, 2017

Firefighters of Fort McMuray. (Photo: Oneil Carlier/Facebook)
Firefighters of Fort McMuray. (Photo: Oneil Carlier/Facebook)

CALGARY—Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her province understands all too well the toll wildfires can take and is sending help to those battling the blazes in British Columbia.

Alberta has sent about 100 firefighters to B.C. to fight the flames along with another 60 people with experience in co-ordinating firefighting efforts.

More than 230 wildfires in the province have forced 10,000 people out of their homes.

Notley says Alberta understands how traumatic wildfires can be for communities after residents of Fort McMurray were forced to flee a massive wildfire last year.

She says everyone has to come together to help when communities experience this kind of tragedy.

Notley says Alberta officials will stay in touch with neighbouring B.C. and will continue to help in any way they can.

“We’re all part of the same country and we know ourselves that this can be very, very trying times and we have a lot of expertise here in Alberta,” Notley said following her pancake breakfast at the Calgary Stampede Monday.

“We’re going to make sure that we remain in touch and respond to the concerns that they have going forward because we know it’s tough.”

Saskatchewan is also sending help to B.C. including two tankers, three aircraft, and 36 firefighters.

Premier Brad Wall says the province is returning the favour from two years ago when La Ronge in the province’s north was faced with heavy wildfires.

“You remember a few years ago in this province where we had a major evacuation of La Ronge, we had help from everywhere,” he says. “We had help from Montana, from Colorado, from other provinces.”

But he says the federal government could also get on board.

“I’m not sure we shouldn’t, as a country, have some sort of a national resource to call upon.”