Conafor firefighters in a training session. Conafor firefighters in a training session.

Mexicans will help fight huge wildfire

100 firefighters leave this week for Canada to fight The Beast

One hundred Mexican firefighters are scheduled to leave today or tomorrow for Canada where they will join the fight against a major wildfire in northern Alberta.


Two brigades from the National Forest Commission (Conafor) and three from the state of Jalisco will be flown by Canadian authorities from Guadalajara to Edmonton before they are dispatched to fight The Beast, a 500,000-hectare fire that burned through 20% of the city of Fort McMurray and continues to burn.

More than 80,000 residents of the city were evacuated earlier this month. Today, the first of the evacuees are returning home, where they will find out what’s been left.

The fire destroyed 2,400 structures, nearly 20% of the city.

Mexico’s firefighters are expected to be sent to Fort McMurray, joining 300 of their counterparts who arrived this week from South Africa.

They have been trained under the same standards used by the United States and Canada, said Juan Ramón Cruz of Conafor. They have taken up to 23 different courses, two to seven years of study in the form of field work and participated in annual drills.

In Canada they will work for 14 days, take three off and work another 14 before returning home.

Source: Reforma (sp), NTR Guadalajara (sp), CTV News (en)

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  • PintorEnMexico

    Good to see!

  • Finally Canada excepts some help

    • Herradura Plata

      Common sense seems to dictate that a timber-free fire-break would have been created — a belt of, say 200 treeless metres — around the town. It might have prevented this disaster.

      • Mexico and other countries offered to help almost a month ago ….. and Canada said “we can handle it”

        • Cool Hand Luke

          That’s just the arrogance of Justin Trudeau coming through.
          Runs in his family.
          More of these mistakes to come in the next 3 1/2 years.

      • rainycoastguy

        The fire jumped a river a kilometre wide and was big enough to create its own weather system
        with thunder and lightening – which started other fires miles away.

    • MochaMike

      “excepts” and “exceptions” have a NEGATIVE connotation than ACCEPTS….so lets get the terminolgy correct and carry on this positive note

  • Herradura Plata

    Yes. This is how good neighbours help each other out.
    I recall several years ago seeing a TV special on Mexican “illegal” labour in the US. One of the worksites visited was a burning hillside somewhere in the Western US, where a forest fire was consuming acres of timber in a National Forest. The firefighters were Mexicans without papers, but were risking their lives “just to be there.” Someone might put this question to Trump: “If a major forest fire threatened Yellowstone National Park would “illegal labour” be allowed to put it out?

  • mrpoohead

    James Smith is moving to Canada – he loves firefighters! You should see his face go all dreamy, when that ol’ Village People song gets played at JR’s. “YMCA!”

  • Rob Mellors

    What a pleasure to read a positive article on Mexico and Mexicans. Good on you, Mexican Firefighters!

  • Dan Tucker

    Good job, Mexican firefighters! Cheers!