Fire Fighting in Canada

Uncategorized Emergency Management
CAF deploying to N.W.T. to support wildfire response

August 15, 2023 
By Avert staff

More than 100 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) troops are deploying in response to the wildfire situation in the Northwest Territories.

One hundred soldiers will be engaged in Type III fire fighting and another 24 are co-ordinating deployment logistics, the N.W.T. government (GNWT) said in a news release yesterday. Type III firefighters are not trained for direct attack on highly active wildfires, but instead assist in dousing hot spots and clearing areas.

The CAF is also deploying a helicopter and twin otter as part of the response.

The territory has seen more than 2 million hectares burned by wildfires this year.


Four communities in the South Slave Region are under evacuation orders: Enterprise, Fort Smith, Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation. Jean Marie River in the Dehcho Region is also evacuated, as well as areas of North Slave Region, including North Prosperous Lake, North Prelude Lake and River Lake.

“The firefighters, first responders, and public servants involved in the NWT’s wildfire response have been working tirelessly over the last three months, and no amount of thanks will ever be enough to recognize their efforts,” N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane said in a news release. “The mobilization of the Canadian Armed Forces will ease the stress on the territory’s resources and allow the GNWT to continue to provide essential services to evacuees during this unprecedented wildfire season. I want to thank Canada for being readily available to assist in our efforts to keep our residents and communities safe.”

Captain Doug Layton, deputy commander of Joint Task Force North, said in the release the number of personnel and locations will be adjusted as as the wildfire situation evolves.

“This is a terrible, stressful time for our communities, and the CAF is here to be of service in this emergency,” Layton said.

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