Yukon air tanker group takes off for British Columbia to fight wildfires

An Air Tractor AT-802 refueling on the runway at Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport.

An air tanker group from the Government of Yukon’s Wildland Fire Management Branch is heading to British Columbia to help the province battle wildfires.

B.C. is experiencing record-breaking temperatures and has issued an urgent call for firefighting assistance from the rest of Canada. B.C. is currently at extreme risk of wildfires and nearly 300 fires are burning in the province right now.

While Yukon’s fire season has kept our fire crews busy so far this year, Wildland Fire Management is confident that with some cooler, wetter weather in the forecast, we can send one of our two air tanker groups to help our neighbours. The air tanker group left for Prince George on Sunday for a 14-day deployment. It can be recalled within 24 hours if needed. A second air tanker group remains in the territory.

Yukon has a long history of helping fight fires outside the territory. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Canadian Armed Forces are currently helping the Yukon respond to flooding in the Southern Lakes and, now, our neighbours to the south could use our assistance. We’re proud to come to their aid in this way.

Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn

Quick facts 
  • Yukon firefighters can help fight fires across Canada and beyond through a resource-sharing agreement coordinated by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.

  • The air tanker group includes three Air Tractor AT-802 aircraft, a Bird Dog plane, pilots, an air attack officer and an air attack officer trainee.

Contact 

Matthew Cameron
Cabinet Communications
867-332-0615
matthew.cameron@yukon.ca

Julia Duchesne
Communications, Community Services
867-393-7415
julia.duchesne@yukon.ca

News release #: 
21-237