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Yukon fire personnel sent to Alberta

A total of 21 people head south to assist crews battling wildfires
Yukon Wildland Fire crews departing the territory bound for Alberta to assist with wildfires there on the morning of May 9. (Mike Fancie/Yukon Wildland Fire)

With 89 active wildfires burning across hundreds of thousands of hectares in Alberta, the Yukon is sending aid.

Twenty-one personnel from the Yukon are bound for Alberta: six Wildland Fire initial attack crews from the Whitehorse and Dawson regions as well as an agency representative and an additional Wildland Fire officer. A May 9 notice from the territorial government states that the specifics of the deployment may change as the situation on the ground in Alberta does.

“We are thinking of everyone who has been forced from their homes, those on evacuation alert and the brave firefighters tackling the intense fire activity across Alberta. We will continue assessing our Yukon resources and send all the help we can over the coming days,” said Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn.

The firefighters left the territory early in the morning on May 9 and were expected to land in Alberta by late morning local time. They could be gone as long as 19 days. The government’s notice states that adequate crews will remain at all Yukon fire bases in the meantime.

“The situation will be continually reassessed to ensure that Alberta is provided maximum possible assistance while remaining prepared to manage any incidents that develop at home,” the notice reads.

Yukon firefighters were among those deployed to help fight the massive Fort McMurray fire in Alberta in 2016. This and the present deployment are examples of the Yukon’s participation in the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre that sees crews responding to requests for help by other provinces and territories. Dispatchers from Alberta helped the Yukon during last summer’s intense period of fires.

The fire danger here in the Yukon is considered relatively low as snow is still on the ground in many of the territory’s communities. In the event that changes, the notice states that the Yukon crews deployed to Alberta can be recalled on 24-hours notice.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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