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Coastal firefighters helping battle blazes in Alberta

Coastal Fire Centre firefighters train with helicopters in Qualicum Beach. Sixty-four of them are now in Alberta, helping fight fires there. - Steven Heywood
Coastal Fire Centre firefighters train with helicopters in Qualicum Beach. Sixty-four of them are now in Alberta, helping fight fires there.
— image credit: Steven Heywood

PARKSVILLE — The Coastal Fire Centre has sent 64 firefighters to Alberta to help with battling the wildfires in that province.

Donna MacPherson, fire information officer for the CFC based in Parksville, said they dispatched three unit crews — one from Port Alberni, one from the Lower Mainland and a third from Pemberton — to Alberta. That province and the town of Slave Lake have been hit hard by out-of-control forest fires.

An additional four forest fire specialists with the Coastal Fire Centre are also in Alberta to help with special situations.

MacPherson said as the conditions change, the CFC may be sending additional personnel should Alberta request them.

"We're happy to help the people of Alberta," said MacPherson. "Our thoughts are with the people and the firefighters of Alberta."

Firefighters with the CFC were recently in Qualicum Beach at the airport there, training with helicopter pilots to face the harsh terrain they often come across fighting fires in B.C.

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