July 19, 2014 6:03 pm
Updated: July 19, 2014 8:19 pm

Ontario firefighters touch down in Edmonton to help battle Alberta wildfires


Watch above: Reinforcements have arrived to help battle wildfires raging across Alberta. Although the wildfire numbers here are much lower than in B.C., the province is still feeling the effects of a dry summer. Eric Szeto has the latest.

EDMONTON – More than 100 Ontario firefighters have landed in Alberta to help fight wildfires burning in the province.

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The firefighters touched down in Edmonton Saturday afternoon. Alberta Wildfire Management says most of the 106 firefighters will be heading to battle the Red Deer Creek fire at the Alberta-B.C. border, which is estimated to be 35,000 hectares in size and zero per cent contained.

“Sharing firefighters is pretty normal business practice for us,” said Whitney Exton, an Alberta Wildlife information officer. “These are pretty big fires. It can take a long time for us to extinguish them.”

READ MORE: Parts of Alberta, B.C. under evacuation alerts and orders due to wildfires

The most recent estimate is that 3,000 hectares of the Red Deer Creek fire are burning in Alberta.

Courtney Askin, a fire operations technician based out of Kenora, Ontario, says she has fought fires in Ontario and B.C., but this is her first time in Alberta.

“It’s [a] different area,” said Askin. “Our mandates, we follow the same instinct command system… but it’s daunting for sure until you get into the groove and figure out what it is that you have to accomplish while you’re here.”

Askin says the firefighters are prepared and have been briefed on the current fire situation. They will receive more information on what they should expect as they head out west.

“Fighting fire, it’s the same thing, but it’s never the same game twice.”

WATCH: Video of the Red Deer Creek fire in Greenview shared by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

The Red Deer Creek fire prompted a state of local emergency and evacuation order in the MD of Greenview No.16 earlier this week, which remained in place Saturday.

As of Saturday afternoon, there were 10 wildfires burning in Alberta, 160 in B.C. and 151 in the N.W.T.

With files from Eric Szeto, Global News.


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