Canada Task Force One, a national heavy urban search and rescue team, has arrived in West Kelowna to help “stabilize” the situation with the McDougall Creek wildfire.
West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund announced the arrival of the team Sunday morning.
“This is a national asset,” he said, thanking the federal and provincial governments as well as the City of Vancouver where the team is based.
“This team brings incredible expertise and horsepower to our operation and will do for us, some very difficult things,” Brolund said.
“Their mission is to help us stabilize the incident to conduct searches and rapid damage assessment.”
The fire chief said Canada Task Force One is fully self-sufficient so it can deploy into the community quickly without impacting existing operations.
The team of up to 50 members consists of police officers, firefighters, engineers, doctors, paramedics and various technical experts.
“I am incredibly happy to report they are already on the ground at this moment,” he said.
The team was in Kelowna in July 2021 in the aftermath of the downtown crane collapse to help retrieve a body from the rubble. The team has also deployed in the past in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the 2013 Calgary floods, 2021 Sumas flooding and more.
This will be the team’s 12th deployment since 2006.