Fire personnel from Canada will help battle wildfires in Oregon
Fire personnel from Canada is to help battling wildfires in Oregon. The country will send nearly 300 firefighters as well as technical specialists to Oregon. The U.S. state is one of three where flames are ravaging, destroying buildings and also claiming many lives. Of these 300 firefighters, about 230 come directly from British Columbia, while specialists and supervisors from Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta will arrive earlier in the U.S.A.
Edwin Gillis of the Winnipeg-based Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, confirmed: ‘The request received from the U.S. National Interagency Co-ordination Center was for assistance on federal land in northern California and Oregon’. He also added: “Some provinces in the West have border agreements with neighbouring states. We have no details as of yet of what is being sent as part of those agreements”.
Alberta Wildfire also confirmed it would dispatch at least 45 crew members to Oregon. Other contingents, like the one battling wildfires in North California, are to return home. The U.S. Forest Service confirmed that they will be shifting focus on Oregon, where blazes have insofar destroyed over 1000 homes and scorched over 4000 square kilometres of land.
The politics of climate disaster
Meanwhile, the crisis has reached the political stage, where Democrats nominee Joe Biden is directly accusing President Trump of ignoring the threat of climate change. On the Atlantic coast, Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama causing disastrous storm surges and torrential rains. Biden has called Trump a ‘climate arsonist’, warning that a possible Trump’s re-election would only result in worsening conditions for American citizens living in areas vulnerable to climate disasters.
President Trump, meanwhile, has shrugged off any attempt at approaching the issue directly. He has gone as far as declaring: ‘I don’t think science knows, actually’. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running VP, spoke of the ‘predictable’ aftermath of California fires on Tuesday. ‘This is not a partisan issue’, she said. ‘“It is incumbent upon us, in terms of the leadership of our nation, to take seriously the extreme changes in our climate, and to do what we can to mitigate against the damage’.