Military deploys to B.C. interior on Op Lentus

Members of 19 Wing Comox secure a fire rescue truck after loading it onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft at CFB Comox in support of Operation Lentus, which is providing support in fighting the wildfires in B.C.’s interior. Photo by Cpl Jeffrey Clement, 19 Wing Imaging

Members of 19 Wing Comox secure a fire rescue truck after loading it onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft at CFB Comox in support of Operation Lentus, which is providing support in fighting the wildfires in B.C.’s interior. Photo by Cpl Jeffrey Clement, 19 Wing Imaging

Lt(N) Melissa Kia, MARPAC PAO ~

In response to the threats posed by the wildfire situation in the interior of B.C, the provincial government requested federal assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) July 9.

The CAF declared Operation Lentus active with its principal goal to assist with this provincial emergency.

The CAF was well situated to quickly respond as there were already Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft pre-positioned in Kelowna and CFB Comox in anticipation of this situation growing worse.

Two aircraft, a CC-130J Hercules and a CC-177 Globemaster, are presently operating out of CFB Comox. Additionally, three CH-146 Griffon helicopters and two CH-147F Chinook helicopters are supporting the wildfire operations out of Kamloops.

The operation has already provided much needed help to the province. Flights from CFB Comox have delivered essential firefighting equipment to Bella Coola, including a Comox fire truck and water distribution systems to battle the flames.

RCAF Griffon and Chinook helicopters stationed at Kamloops airport are providing air reconnaissance over Prince George and surrounding communities for provincial authorities, allowing them to better assess the needs of communities affected by the fires, and how best to fight the blazes. 

As of July 12, more than 14,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and over 33,000 hectares of land have been devastated by the wild fires in multiple regions in the Chilcotin Plateau and Cariboo regions of B.C.

The Canadian Armed Forces will continue to assist B.C. on Operation Lentus for the duration of the provincial need for assistance, and will remain in close communication with the province in order to ensure the response to the wildfires is as effective and efficient as possible.

For more information on the provincial wildfire situation, please visit www.bcwildfire.ca or follow MARPAC on Twitter @MARPAC_FMARP for daily updates on Operation LENTUS activity.

Filed Under: Top Stories

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