Premier Brad Wall has announced that he is pleased that other premiers have joined Saskatchewan and BC to call on the federal government on measures that will improve preparedness and response to wildfires.
Wildfires across western Canada this summer have reinforced the need for a strong and co-ordinated emergency management and public safety system.
“This year’s fires in Canada were unique in that there were multiple large forest fi res in several jurisdictions at the same time,” said Wall. “We need to be prepared in the event that this situation happens again in the future, and I believe that partnering with the federal government will help us accomplish that goal.”
Wall said Wednesday he would like to ensure Canadian Forces receive additional training in fighting forest fires so that, in the event they are needed, they can provide assistance on the front line immediately.
Premiers will be requesting their ministers responsible for emergency measures to work with the federal government to:
• Explore the idea of creating a national supply of wildfire fighting equipment;
• Ensure that training is provided to Canadian Forces personnel in wildfire fighting techniques; and,
• Evaluate and improve the existing agreement for sharing fire fighting resources between provinces.
“We are grateful to all of those who have assisted Saskatchewan during this unprecedented fire season - all professional and volunteer fi refi ghters both inside and outside our province, our Armed Forces, and private citizens who have all been necessary to battle the fires threatening many communities,” said Wall.
Wall said he was grateful to premiers for agreeing to the idea of a national contingency for future wide-spread fires.