Firefighters from Hay River are providing backup in northern Alberta as communities in the region deal with large and damaging forest fires.
The Town of High Level said on Tuesday that three members of Hay River’s fire department were assisting in and around the town while its own firefighters help residents of smaller communities.
“They are in the community in a support role while members of the High Level Fire Department are providing mutual aid to our neighbours fighting fires in Fox Lake and near Rainbow Lake,” the town stated.
Both Fox Lake and Rainbow Lake have been evacuated in recent days, with some of their residents seeking shelter in High Level. Alberta has declared a state of emergency over the severe start to this year’s wildfire season in the province.
Hay River volunteers Terence Fischer, Ralph Sanguez and Morgan Monkman arrived on Sunday and had already worked on two brush fires east of High Level by Monday afternoon, the town stated.
“We’re all from the North,” Monkman was quoted as saying in a Tuesday press release.
“We understand what it’s like to come together with small communities and give a helping hand … our smaller communities really come together and just help each other out.”
High Level’s deputy fire chief, Scott Smith, said: “Being able to make a call and have some experienced guys come down and hang out with us and give us a hand – that’s just huge.”