Island firefighters return from British Columbia

Island forest firefighters prepare to leave for British Columbia

Now that he is back home, Nick Thompson is thankful for the experience he and his team gained while helping contain wildfires in British Columbia.  

Thompson was one of a dozen Prince Edward Island forest firefighters who left for B.C. on July 17 – 11 were part of a sustained action team with members from Newfoundland and Labrador, and the 12th served as the Island delegation’s liaison officer. All 12 are employees with the province’s Department of Communities, Land and Environment.

"I was pleased to help B.C. by working with firefighters from across the country,” said Thompson, who works as a provincial forest technician. “The experience we gained securing a fire close to a major town should help us if Prince Edward Island is ever faced with a similar situation."

The Islanders were assigned to the Gustafson fire in the area of 100 Mile House, about 200 kilometres north of Kamloops, B.C. The sustained action team worked to secure the fire perimeter, identify hot spots, and extinguish deep-burn ash pits to prevent future flare-ups.

“On behalf of all Islanders, I want to welcome our 12-person firefighting crew home and thank them for their efforts in western Canada,” Communities, Land and Environment Minister Robert Mitchell said. “They played a pivotal role in containing the Gustafson fire and have a great deal to be proud of.”

The Gustafson fire was estimated to cover more than 6,000 hectares but is now being reported as 100 per cent contained.

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