The Alberta government has contracted a helicopter from a B.C.- based company to aid in its firefighting efforts.
Wayne Coulson of Port Alberni’s Coulson Flying Tankers says its Sikorsky S-61 will be landing shortly in Fort McMurray.
He adds a second fire fighting aircraft will arrive back from Australia next week and will also be offered to Alberta.
But while the privately owned assets are headed over the Rockies, The B.C. Wildfire Service says it’s in no position to lend a hand.
BC Wildfire Spokesperson Ryan Turcot, says wildfire activity in B.C. is just too high to assist Alberta today.
“The requests go to all provinces and territories within Canada, and the jurisdictions experiencing lower levels of activity are able to lend resources when they are available, given the current level of fire activity in BC and the need for us to maintain necessary resources here, BC was unable to lend crews at this time.”
He says future requests will be considered.
There are 85 fires burning in B.C., mostly in the Peace Region, and four evacuation alerts are in effect.
Crews have already responded to 200 fires, burning an estimated 23,500 hectares, more than 90% of that in the Prince George Fire Centre.
The vast majority of them have been human caused.