British Columbia has experienced 1,453 wildfires in 2021, with 262 wildfires currently active in the province. The unprecedented scale and scope of these wildfires in British Columbia have required inter-provincial and international assistance.
Wildfires in Lytton Creek began on June 30, 2021, just south of the village of Lytton in British Columbia, Canada. The fire moved upward at a speed of up to 20 kilometers per hour, exploding several propane tanks upon moving into Lytton. Residents were evacuated within minutes without time to collect belongings. The village’s 250 residents, as well as 1,500-2,000 First Nations residents in the area, were heavily impacted by the wildfire’s damage.
Airlink working in partnership with long-time partners Air Canada and Team Rubicon (Canada), helped to co-ordinate and move Team Rubicon volunteers, known as ‘greyshirts’, to the region. Those volunteers were responding to a direct request from the local government for their specialized response capabilities, drawing on their experience in responding to the Ft. McMurray Wildfires in Alberta in 2016. Their initial team formed the core Emergency Operations Centre, working closely with the Chief Administrative Officer and Recovery Manager as well as Lytton’s Mayor and Council. Volunteers coming into Kamloops Airport in a phased approach spanning a number of weeks assisted community members in removing and disposing of damaged infrastructure, collecting personal belongings from ashes, and preparing homes for rebuilding.
Airlink Provides Travel to Team Rubicon Canada Volunteers Tackling British Columbia Wildfire Cleanup with the help of the Air Canada Foundation
Airlink, Air Canada and the Air Canada Foundation are teaming up to provide travel to Team Rubicon Canada volunteers. The free flights will benefit approximately 30 volunteers traveling to British Columbia to help local families, including Indigenous communities, with clean-up and recovery operations after recent wildfires in Lytton.