Canadian military to end Alberta wildfire deployment after 6 weeks

Click to play video: 'Alberta wildfires: Concerns about air quality, looting, well-being of troops'
Alberta wildfires: Concerns about air quality, looting, well-being of troops
WATCH: While the smoke from the dozens of wildfires burning across Alberta has triggered a special air quality statement for most of the province, more problems have emerged. Neetu Garcha reports on the investigation into looting, and the concerns for the well-being of the military members helping fight the flames – May 17, 2023

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) were redeployed Tuesday after serving in the fight against Alberta’s wildfires for more than a month.

The province requested federal assistance May 10, after declaring a state of emergency on May 6.

A state of emergency declaration allows a province to request emergency services and resources from the federal government if more resources are required than the province is able to provide.

The 3rd Canadian Division and RCAF immediately responded to wildfires in Drayton Valley and Brazeau County, Fox Creek, Edson and in northern parts of the province, including Grande Prairie and Fort Chipewyan.

Click to play video: 'Canadian military helping airlift wildfire evacuees out of Fort Chipewyan'
Canadian military helping airlift wildfire evacuees out of Fort Chipewyan

Officers provided personnel and resources to help in basic firefighting roles and the “RCAF ensured airlift resources for mobility and logistical tasks … including the transport of five Alberta Wildfire fire trucks to Fort Chipewyan and the evacuation of 116 civilians from that isolated community,” according to a news release from National Defence.

Story continues below advertisement

At the height of support, there were roughly 350 CAF and RCAF officers deployed throughout Alberta.

Federal support was approved for an additional three weeks on May 27, and following the province’s removal of the state of emergency on June 3, it was determined military resources were no longer needed.

“The Government of Alberta is grateful for the support provided by the Canadian Armed Forces during one of the worst wildfire seasons in Alberta’s history,” said Mike Ellis, minister of public safety and emergency services. “Thank you to all CAF members who have bravely supported firefighting efforts and helped Albertans evacuate safely and quickly. This support was critical in helping the province get through a very difficult time and we value the CAF for their tremendous dedication and service.”

Sponsored content