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Alberta fire crews head to B.C. to battle wildfires

A wildfire burns on a mountain near Ashcroft, B.C., late Friday July 7, 2017. More than 3,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes in central British Columbia. A provincial state of emergency was declared after 56 new wildfires started Friday.
A wildfire burns on a mountain near Ashcroft, B.C., late Friday July 7, 2017. More than 3,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes in central British Columbia. A provincial state of emergency was declared after 56 new wildfires started Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Roughly 100 fire personnel from across Alberta are heading to B.C. to help that province fight a number of wildfires.

RELATED: B.C. province-wide state of emergency declared

B.C. has declared a state of emergency as a number of wildfires burn out of control, leading to the evacuation of more than 38,000 people across B.C’s Interior and Cariboo regions.

There were more than 180 fires burning around the province on Saturday, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

READ MORE: BC wildfires lead to a number of highway closures

Melinda Paplawski, a wildfire information officer for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, said the province received the request for support Saturday morning and spent the day coordinating resources.

“We have ended up sending about 60 firefighters as well as about 35 other fire personnel, who are able to fill various roles, and an air tanker and a pilot,” she said.

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RELATED: B.C. wildfires 2017: How you can help

“When we’re looking for resources to send out of the province, we try and look at the areas that have a little bit of a lower fire hazard and are going to be able to spare the resources so we can help as much as we can without leaving our province short-handed.”

The group will arrive in Kamloops, B.C. on Monday and then will be distributed across the province.

Paplawski said the group is expected to stay in B.C. for two to three weeks then the province will evaluate whether to send a second contingent of fire personnel.

Last year, B.C. sent firefighters to Alberta to fight the Fort McMurray wildfire.

-with files from Jesse Ferreras and Jon Azpiri