Approximately 250 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have landed at Vernon’s Army Cadet Camp.
In response to a request for federal assistance for firefighting resources to support mop up and monitoring operations, the CAF is deploying land forces to support local efforts in the emergency response to the wildfire situation in B.C.
They arrived July 23 and 26 and are expected to be here until Aug. 30, at which time the situation will be reassessed.
“The task force leadership is working with local and provincial authorities to determine the most effective way to assist B.C. wildfires,” Navy Lt. Kevin Moffat said.
A vanguard of approximately 90 troops arrived via land transport July 27, to help assist in fire suppression activities in Thomas Creek.
“It looks like they’ll be heading out to another set of fires in the next several days,” Moffat said, adding that 100 Mile House is a possibility after members are going there today to review the area.”*
The reconnaissance activities do not include active firefighting, but mop-up and fire suppression.
Coordinating with BC Wildfire Service, the CAF is deployed to where they are most needed.
The CAF also deployed approximately 50 members to Kamloops earlier this month to support the Air Task Force (ATF) in its fight against wildfires.
The ATF consists of multiple air assets sourced from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (Petawawa) and 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (Edmonton). Air frames currently assigned to the ATF include: CH-147F Chinook helicopters & CH-146 Griffon helicopters.
Called Operation Lentus, the deployment is CAF’s response to natural disasters.
*Editor’s Note: this quote has been amended as requested to reflect the dates correctly.