A contingent of 100 firefighters from Mexico is returning home, leaving the Okanagan towns and cities they’ve been helping protect from wildfires.
“The BC Wildfire Service wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to the 98 firefighters and three support personnel who deployed from Mexico this summer to help manage the wildfire situation in B.C.,” BC Wildfire Service wrote in Wednesday Facebook post.
One of B.C.’s most destructive fires, at White Rock Lake, now considered being held
The firefighters arrived July 24 and worked long days battling wildfires throughout the Okanagan.
“Their work this wildfire season has been invaluable to this organization and all British Columbians affected by wildfires,” BC Wildfire said.
“This weekend, they will begin their travels home. We wish them a safe departure and a well deserved rest upon their return.”
Mexican firefighters lived and worked in operational “bubbles,” the province said in the days preceding their arrival.
Mexican firefighters back up B.C. crews as more wildfires rage
They came to the Interior by way of requests for out-of-province assistance made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), which coordinates the sharing of firefighting resources within Canada.
Incoming firefighting crews are trained to CIFFC standards and are deployed where they are needed most in the province.
The cost of bringing in firefighting personnel from other provinces or countries is covered by the B.C. government.
Global National: Jul 24
There are currently 209 wildfires burning in B.C, but there were 1,584 wildfires from April 1, and they scorched 868,604 hectares, according to the province.
Of those fires, 59 were in the Kamloops fire centre, which encompasses the Okanagan.
Okanagan residents cheer on firefighters
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