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Additional support for wildfires

As wildfire activity in the province continues to spark up, the Wildfire Management Branch has called in over 70 firefighters from other provinces.

A 14-member team from Alberta arrived in BC on July 14 to help with the Red Deer Creek fire, located about 61 kilometres southeast of Tumbler Ridge. And an additional 55 firefighters arrived Wednesday from Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

All of these new personnel are on top of 21 members from Ontario that arrived July 13.

They will provide command and co-ordination support to fire crews on the ground.

Hot and dry weather conditions have elevated the fire danger rating throughout the province and most of BC is currently experiencing a "high" to "extreme" fire danger rating. Forest fuels are very receptive to ignition and firefighting crews are on standby in all six of BC's fire centres in preparation for increased fire starts.

The Wildfire Management Branch has responded to 573 wildfires so far this season. There are currently 12 active fires of note burning within the boundaries of the Prince George, Kamloops, Cariboo and Northwest fire centres. Most of these fires were caused by lightning.

These fires serve as a reminder that as lightning activity within the province increases, extra caution is needed to prevent person-caused wildfires. Each person-caused fire diverts critical resources away from natural, lightning-caused fires.

Costs associated with these requests will be covered by BC under the Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement, which allows for the movement of firefighting resources throughout Canada.

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