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445 personnel currently assigned to Vanderhoof– Fort St. James zone for wildfire efforts

215 firefighters from South Africa conclude deployment in the area with a traditional performance
Crews from around the world say goodbye after working together in the Prince George Fire Centre. (BC Wildfire Service/ Facebook)

There are currently 25 active fires in the Vanderhoof – Fort St. James Zone.

The status of the 25 fires is – 12 Out of Control, 7 Under Control and 6 Being Held .

Four of the Fires considered ‘Out of Control’ have been deemed ‘Wildfires of Note’.

Currently 445 personnel have been assigned to the Vanderhoof Fort St. James zone – 418 firefighters, 15 helicopters, 17 structure protection and 64 pieces of heavy equipment.

215 firefighters from South Africa were also on site to help with wildfire supression efforts, said Fire Information Officer for Vanderhoof–Fort St. James zone Marg Drysdale.

On September 21, the firefighters concluded their deployment with a display of cultural heritage and traditional song and dance in honour of South African Heritage Day (September 24) and as a thank you for the hospitality provided during their time in B.C.

Members of the U.S. incident management team (also supporting in Vanderhoof) and the Prince George Fire Centre’s information team (including staff from Ontario and the Cariboo) even had an opportunity to join in the celebrations. To conclude the evening, the U.S. Incident Commander was invited to release the firefighters from duty and send them home.

More fire crews are expected to be deployed to the area said Drysdale.

“A resource request has been submitted for additional firefighters but given that this is some time away we do not yet know what resources will be assigned,” Drysdale said.

The fires have had lower fire behaviour over the last few days due to some precipitation, shorter days and no wind events, or gusts. Over the next few days another ridge will build with warmer temperatures but will not reach previous temperatures, or strong winds.

Residents should expect to see continued fire activity within the perimeter of the fires as fire hits pockets of receptive fuels.

All fires have been updated on