The Canadian Armed forces are assisting BC Wildfire crews in mopping up sections of the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire, located 24 kilometres west of West Kelowna.
Starting Aug. 13, when the request for assistance from the province was received, the third Canadian division has deployed a team to conduct liaison and coordination with Joint Task Force Pacific and the B.C. Wildfire Service. This was followed by the Land Task Force reconnaissance party of 13 Canadian Armed Forces members to establish the reception location for arriving troops and to determine where CAF personnel could best assist, according to a statement issued the Armed Forces.
The first wave of soldiers from third battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, from the third Canadian division departed Edmonton, Aug. 15. The group deployed with dozens of support vehicles consisting of medium and heavy transportation trucks, ambulances, maintenance and utility vehicles arriving in the arrive in the Kelowna area Aug. 16.
A second group of Edmonton-based troops will depart Aug. 16. The total number of CAF members deployed to B.C. will reach approximately 170 by nightfall today. The CAF will stage from Kelowna and another location in Merritt, according to the statement.
This land task force is comprised of 100 soldiers conducting mop-up fireline tasks. This team also includes the personnel needed for command, control and integral sustainment of CAF operations. The first firefighting area where CAF will be supporting the wildfire crews at the Gottfriedson Mountain fire, the statement said.
CAF crews are establishing their headquarters at the Vernon Cadet Training Centre.