Many of the dead pine forests affected by the pine beetles are dry which might explain why the Chelaslie River wildfire has spread to over 107 thousand hectares since early July.
But for nearby camper Debbie Pietila – who has been camping in the region every summer for 20 years – she wants to know why one of the biggest weapons to fight fires continues to sit on the sidelines.
“Bring in the Mars bombers now, it should’ve been done yesterday. We just cheered when we saw them come in. These fires are huge, the lakes are huge, and they can accomodate these bombers. I think there’s something not being disclsoed as to the truth of why they’re not being used.”
Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says their current abundance of helicopters, however, are providing better and more mobile support.
“We do have over 18 helicopters that are working with 290 firefighters and those helicopters are mainly assisting those grounds crews by bucketing, and that air support is very crucial.”
186 fires continue to burn across the province, the Chelaslie wildfire being one of 11 major wildfires.