Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 24, 2012 19:34 ET

Canadian Forces Provide 700 Forest Fire Evacuees with Food and Lodging at CFB Goose Bay

CFB GOOSE BAY, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - June 24, 2012) - As of today, approximately 700 residents from the communities of North West River and Sheshatshiu in Newfoundland and Labrador have been evacuated to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Goose Bay (5 Wing) as forest fires continue to encroach on the region's communities.

Today's action follows the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador's evacuation order, issued yesterday evening, and their formal request, through Public Safety Canada, for food and lodging for evacuees. Canadian Forces personnel have acted swiftly to meet the needs of the evacuated residents.

"The men and women of the Canadian Forces are dedicated to the safety and welfare of their fellow Canadians, bringing relief to those most affected by these wildfires," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "I am proud of the great work they do alongside provincial and municipal partners to support, in every way, those who face uncertainty and distress from all natural disasters."

The Canadian Forces (CF) provide assistance to civil authorities in a manner that complements other federal, provincial and municipal resources, in areas where their capabilities can effectively contribute to the overall relief effort. The Canadian Forces will continue to closely monitor the situation in conjunction with partner agencies, and will be prepared to provide additional assistance if and when called upon.

"The CF are committed to assisting our Whole-of-Government partners when a request for CF assistance is authorized," said Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw, Commander Canada Command. "We will work closely with our partners to provide the appropriate CF capabilities to help resolve this crisis."

Canada Command's Joint Task Force Atlantic and CFB Goose Bay are working closely with the lead provincial agency, Fire and Emergency Services Newfoundland.

Canada Command directs and oversees domestic CF operations, bringing unique military capabilities to assist civil authority during natural disasters such as spring floods and forest fires, as well as supporting special events such as Royal Visits, and defending against threats to the safety and security of our citizens.

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