Hundreds of American firefighters arrive in Canada to help battle wildfires
Hundreds of American firefighters have recently arrived in Canada to help battle wildfires — and more are on the way.
In a tweet Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden about this “critical support” and thanked him for all the help Americans are providing Canada as the country continues to fight “these devastating wildfires.”
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre said there were 362 fires actively burning throughout Canada as of Wednesday evening, and more than half of them were burning out of control. In Quebec alone, there were 140 active forest fires.
“We’re seeing more and more of these fires because of climate change. These fires are affecting everyday routines, lives and livelihoods, and our air quality,” Trudeau said.
“We’ll keep working – here at home and with partners around the world – to tackle climate change and address its impacts.”
At a press briefing Wednesday, the White House said more than 600 U.S. firefighters and personnel, as well equipment like water bombers, have been deployed so far to help Canada battle the fires.
There are now nearly 1,000 firefighters from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa—with additional firefighters from France expected—helping battle the wildfires.
The federal government has said this season is on track to be the worst fire season Canada has ever experienced and the risk of wildfires will remain well above average in most of the country throughout the summer.
More than 2,200 wildfires have been recorded across Canada this year and about 3.3 million hectares burned, according to Natural Resources Canada.