Nova Scotia is sending a crew of firefighters to Newfoundland and Labrador to help battle wildfires that have been raging for three weeks.
In a release Monday, the Nova Scotia government said the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables is sending 20 wildland firefighters and one agency representative to join crews already on the ground in Gander, N.L.
The release said current fire conditions in Nova Scotia allows for resources to be shared.
“I’m proud of our Department firefighters for answering the call of duty, and I know their service is greatly appreciated by our neighbours in Newfoundland,” said Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, in the release.
“We are always happy to help fire crews in other places when our resources allow, safe in the knowledge that our help will be returned when we need it.”
Nova Scotia is part of the Canadian Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreement, which ensures all provinces and territories will receive help from other areas if forest fires become too large to handle. The affected province covers the cost of jurisdictions that are sending help.
The Nova Scotia firefighters will leave Shubenacadie between 11:30 a.m. and noon Monday. They will ferry to Newfoundland and are scheduled to arrive in Gander on Tuesday, where they will learn where they will be deployed.
The fires in Newfoundland and Labrador were triggered by lightning strikes in late July during a prolonged period of drought conditions in central Newfoundland.
As of Sunday, air quality in the area has improved and was expected to remain good for the next two days — and while the forest fires remain out of control, conditions were expected to remain stable.
A climatologist has said the wildfires could be a sign of what’s to come as the province feels the impacts of climate change. As temperatures increase in the province, periods of rain will likely become more intense but less frequent, with longer dry spells in between.