Alberta calls for wildfire reinforcements

Alberta calls for wildfire reinforcements

17 June 2009

published by

Canada —

Firefighters and equipment from around Canada and Mexico were headed to Alberta Wednesday to help battle 17 out-of-control wildfires, officials said.

More than 67,000 acres of forest and scrubland have been charred in 890 wildfires since April 1, and provincial officials were most concerned with 12 fires burning near Fort McMurray, the Calgary Sun reported.

Some 600 firefighters are battling the blazes that haven’t as yet caused injury or property loss, but officials put out a call for help Tuesday, CTV News said.

In response, the Northwest Territories sent 35 firefighters, the province of Ontario is sending 116 and three air tankers, Quebec is sending two air tankers, New Brunswick dispatched 10 firefighters, and 21 firefighters from Jalisco, Mexico, were also en route, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Alberta Transportation spokeswoman Heather Kaszuba told the Edmonton Journal several highways were closed and motorists should be prepared for more closures before setting out.

Weather conditions have been very dry and many of the fires were attributed lightning strikes, officials said.

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