Russia has offered to send fire-fighting aircraft to assist Canada in dealing with the Alberta wildfire.
Communications Adviser for Public Safety Canada, spokesperson Mylene Croteau, told domestic Russian-language news agency RIA Novosti on Friday, that Ottawa will review Moscow’s offer in due course.
“We can confirm that we have received a letter from the Russian Federation offering their assistance,” Croteau said. “We will review the offer received from the Russian Federation and will respond to them in due course.”
On Thursday, Russian Minister of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Vladimir Puchkov said that Moscow was ready to send firefighting aircraft to Canada to help deal with the Alberta wildfire.
The spokesman noted that the Canadian government has a mechanism in place for mutual firefighting support with other nations, including some specific agreements.
“Canada does not have a formal arrangement with Russia for this purpose,” Croteau added. “This international assistance is managed by the Government Operations Centre in partnership with a number of Departments and Agencies, and working with Provinces and Territories that need the assistance.”
A wildfire near Fort McMurray, a city located in Canada’s oil-rich western province of Alberta, was discovered late on Sunday before spreading into the city on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Alberta declared a state of emergency as the number of evacuees surpassed 80,000. At least 1,600 buildings have been affected by the fire.
According to the authorities, over 1,110 firefighters, 145 helicopters and 138 pieces of heavy equipment are fighting the fires.
The latest media reports suggest that the fires in the province have spread over an area of 328.2 square miles.
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