Military airlifting supplies from Vancouver Island to fight wildfires in B.C. Interior
A military airlift is underway to ferry trucks and firefighting equipment from Vancouver Island to the B.C. Interior, where hundreds of wildfires continue to force residents from their homes.
A Hercules cargo plane made multiple trips Friday from Canadian Forces Base Comox to Kamloops, B.C., delivering wildfire trucks and much-needed supplies to firefighters and military personnel on the ground.
British Columbia’s emergency management office estimated there were more than 300 wildfires burning in the province Friday afternoon, forcing thousands to flee and putting thousands more on alert to leave at a moment’s notice.
At least four trucks from the Coastal Fire Centre, two mobile headquarters shelters and a pair of lighting trailers were aboard the Royal Canadian Air Force cargo plane as it touched down in Kamloops.
During one delivery, the transport craft spent mere minutes unloading on the Tarmac before departing again to gather more equipment and resources from Vancouver Island, which has been spared any significant wildfires so far this season.
The military has been tasked with airlifting supplies into and around the B.C. Interior as fires threaten to impair major roadways in the region.
A pair of Griffon helicopters from Alberta and two Chinook transport helicopters from Petawawa, Ont., are also in Kamloops to assist in the wildfire relief efforts and evacuations, if necessary.
At the Kamloops airport where approximately 50 military personnel are now deployed, Maj. David Wood said the Hercules cargo plane was brought in when the BC Wildfire Service requested equipment that “we couldn’t handle with the helicopters that we have on the ground.”
The military was deployed to central B.C. to aid in the wildfire response on July 4 and is currently scheduled to remain until at least July 19.