Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declined Russia’s offer to help fight the “out of control” wildfire that is continuing to blaze through Fort McMurray in the province of Alberta.
Trudeau expressed gratitude towards Russia’s offer to dispatch water bombers and fire fighting specialists to battle the growing flames, but said he did not need international help.
In addition to help coming from different provinces across the country, Trudeau has said that international help will not be required. He added that it is “touching” to see the global community coming together to help and offer support to those affected by the catastrophe. As reported by Global News, countries including the U.S., Russia, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have offered help.
“One of the things that has been touching over the past days is not just how Canadians have been stepping up from across the country to support their friends in Fort McMurray but how the international community has been affected and responding to this tragedy, to this ongoing challenge,” Trudeau said.
Chad Morrison of Alberta Wildfire said resources to help combat the wildfire were being brought in from other provinces. “Right now, of course we’re working through all our firefighting agencies across Canada, we also work through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, who reaches over to the U.S. partners and the National Interagency Forest Fire centre in the U.S., as well we have regional agreements,” Morrison said.
“Most of the issues I believe at this time — simply that we’re just trying to get everything lined up and continue to bring things in in a manner that’s safe, we can deploy those firefighters and get them to work.”
Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale emphasized the need of a break in the weather. “The decision was made by the firefighters in the emergency management system that (foreign help) wasn’t necessary because of the nature of this blaze,” Goodale said. “This beast is so big the only thing that will fix it is rain.”
Almost 1,600 structures, causing nearly 90,000 people to flee their homes, have been destroyed, as reported by RCinet.ca. The calamity has also caused the closure of about one third of Canada’s oil production.
According to the most recent Alberta government update, the fire has spread to almost 161,000 hectares in and around Fort McMurray. As many as 500 firefighters, 15 helicopters, 14 air tankers and 88 pieces of equipment have been deployed to fight the blaze.