Eight Clearwater-area firefighters off to battle wildfires in Quebec

Eight wildfire firefighters from the Clearwater area are among 41 from Alberta who left Friday for Quebec to help battle wildfires.

Eight wildfire firefighters from the Clearwater area are among 41 from Alberta who left Friday for Quebec to help battle wildfires.

“Because of the recent rain and cooler temperatures it’s allowed us to free up those firefighters to be able to go out to help,” said Jeoffrey Driscoll, wildfire information officer with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

“They are going to a wildfire that is already going on or they’ll be going there to go on standby so if a fire does happen they can jump on that fire really quickly before the fire grows.”

Firefighters will join the two airtankers Alberta sent on May 22.

About 30 wildfire firefighters are based in Clearwater area, stretching west along Jasper National Park and Banff National Park, north to Drayton Valley, south to the Red Deer River and past Rocky Mountain House to the east.

“If the fire danger does increase here in Alberta, or if something unexpected happens, they can be called back,” Driscoll said.

So far this year the Clearwater area has had 41 wildfires, with one still burning but under control northeast of Lodgepole.

Firefighters attended just over 10 abandoned campfires in the area last weekend to ensure they didn’t become wildfires.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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