Saskatchewan has stepped up to help some U.S. states that have found themselves in the same situation northern Saskatchewan was in earlier this summer with raging wildfires and hundreds of people forced from their homes.
The province has sent a team to help deal with the U.S. wildfires: a bird-dog plane, two 588 air tankers, and a nine-person team with them.
The planes will do retardant drops onto wildfires to protect structures and to help suppress the fires.
The team will be in Montana on Tuesday, getting their orders, and could be sent anywhere from there as they’re needed.
“This summer we were the recipients of a lot of great assistance from our partners across Canada and the States, so of course, when the tables and if the request comes and we have resources available we will certainly assist,” said Val Nicholson, a communications professional with the Ministry of the Environment.
Nicholson explained that, as per the resources sharing agreement, the request went through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre in Winnipeg, and was answered by Saskatchewan.
B.C. is also dealing with some wildfires, but Nicholson said the province hasn’t had a request for help from them.
She said Saskatchewan still has about 48 wildfires here.
“So we do have to maintain our resources to handle the fires that we have as well as maintain our preparedness to deal with any new starts that do happen.”
She said, as resources aren’t needed for Saskatchewan’s fires, they can be made available to help others.