Parks Canada

Parks Canada

August 20, 2010 16:48 ET

Parks Canada Helps Fight British Columbia Forest Fires

Department deploys some 30 people in the province

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - August 20, 2010) - To help fight the forest fires currently raging in British Columbia, Parks Canada is lending its support and expertise. At the request of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), a group of 20 forest firefighters and a forest fire management team will be deployed in the province.

"In recent years Parks Canada's Fire Management Program, which consists of a Canada-wide network of specialists, has grown and evolved to a point where the Agency is becoming a leader in the field of ecological fire management and prescribed burns," declared Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. "For 125 years Parks Canada's experience in fighting forest fires on its lands has been unrivalled, and we are more than pleased to share our expertise for the benefit of others."

During their 14-day deployment in British Columbia, the Parks Canada forest firefighters will combat the various fires raging in the mountains near Williams Lake. The goal of the fire management team, for its part, will be to plan and oversee fire suppression operations in the Cariboo region. A Parks Canada employee has been assigned to the Williams Lake region as a fire behaviour specialist, and is currently working with a team of specialists from the province.

Despite sending some 30 people to British Columbia, Parks Canada is still capable of intervening if there is a fire in one of its own parks. The current fire risk in most of Canada's 42 national parks ranges from low to moderate.

In Canada, fire suppression operations are coordinated by the CIFFC. The various resources in this regard are shared under the terms of the Mutual Aid Resources Sharing (MARS) Agreement. As a CIFFC member, Parks Canada is ready to respond to any request for help in the event of a major incident.

For more information on Parks Canada fire management operations, please consult the fact sheet available at www.parkscanada.gc.ca (in the "National Parks" section, under "Ecosystem Management" heading).

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Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    Media Relations
    819-994-3023