More help from West of the Rockies is on the way for wildfire-devastated Fort McMurray – this time, in the form of RCMP officers.
Staff Sgt. Rob Vermeulen with RCMP E-Division says the force is sending about 150 officers from its traffic service and tactical troop groups, at the request of the Alberta RCMP.
Vermulen says the help is being drawn from all over B.C. to avoid starving any particular detachment of staff.
He says the officers are used to being deployed to emergencies on a moment’s notice.
The Lower Mainland District Integrate Tactical Troop, for example, was deployed to the Okanagan Mountain Park fire in 2003, the G8/G20 in Ontario in 2010, and the Stanley Cup Riot in 2011.
Vermulen says it’s not clear exactly when the first boots will be on the ground.
“It is a fluid deployment. They will be there this week and report to their designated areas/units. Deployment is being determined by Alberta.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notely says hot spots still need to be extinguished, downed power lines need repair and a re-entry plan still needs to be written before the town will be safe for people to return to.
She says about 2,400 buildings have been lost, and that an evacuation order will likely remain in place for at least two weeks.
The blaze that ravaged the northern community has grown to more than 2,000 square kilometers since it began its rapid growth last week.