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P.E.I. forest firefighters bound for Alberta

A helicopter flys tree-top level ahead of wildfire crews doing controlled burn ignition operation approximately three kilometres southwest of High Level where about 5,000 residence were evacuated from the Chuckegg Creek fire, May 23, 2019. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia
A helicopter flies tree-top level ahead of wildfire crews doing controlled burn ignition operation approximately three kilometres southwest of High Level where about 5,000 residence were evacuated from the Chuckegg Creek fire, May 23, 2019. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia - Ed Kaiser Ed Kaiser
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Five P.E.I. forest firefighters are leaving for Alberta this weekend to help with the increasingly serious wildfire situation.

Three members will join a joint sustained action team with wildfire fighters from New Brunswick.

The other two are serving as a fire information officer and a strike force leader. Once they arrive in Alberta, they will be assigned to specific areas in the province where their skills are required.

Staff deployed to Alberta will gain skills that could be needed if P.E.I. faces serious wildfires in the future.

Environment, Water and Climate Change (EWCC) is responsible for wildfire response within the province. The Forest Weather Index (FWI) is currently at low across the Island due to a wet spring and the long-range forecast indicates a continuation of mild temperatures and rain over the next few weeks.

The province says the majority of the Island’s forest firefighters are still in the province should conditions change. Traditionally, most wildfires on P.E.I. tend to happen in May and early June rather than during the summer months.

The professionalism of P.E.I.’s forest firefighting staff is recognized nationally. In 2018, P.E.I. forest firefighters aided British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario during extreme fire events.

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