The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is preparing to send up to 1400 personnel, including a firefighting force and integral logistics support, to help fight fires in Saskatchewan.
4 Wing Coldlake is also prepared to provide additional housing for evacuated residents should it be necessary.
“The Canadian Armed Forces always stands ready to offer assistance in support of civilian authorities during any crisis in Canada, including natural disasters,” said Jason Kenney, National Defence Minister.
Saskatchewan made the Request for Assistance on July 5 to the Government of Canada, asking for CAF support to provincial efforts in response to wildfires in northern areas of the province.
The Province of Saskatchewan requested assistance from Public Safety Canada, who in turn, requested CAF assistance through the Minister of National Defence.
Public Safety Canada has the lead responsibility for the emergency response and CAF personnel are in continuous liaison with them as well as with provincial authorities and our other federal partners.
“I am proud of the efforts our members are making to help those affected by the wildfires in Saskatchewan. This is yet another example of how the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces consider it their highest duty and privilege to help Canadians in need, whenever and wherever required,” said Kenney.
Before CAF personnel are sent to fight fires, they will be appropriately equipped and receive required training for fighting wildfires. They will continue to assist with firefighting efforts until provincial authorities can handle the situation.
The situation will be continuously and closely monitored by the CAF as they work in direct partnership with other federal, provincial, and municipal partners in order to provide the best support possible.
CAF assistance in support of evacuation efforts in Saskatchewan is undertaken as part of Operation LENTUS, the CAF contingency plan that outlines the joint response to provide support for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response to provincial and territorial authorities in the case of a major natural disaster.
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