Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair announced in Ottawa on Thursday that the federal government has approved a request for the Canadian Armed Forces to help Nova Scotia fight wildfires as the eastern province — like other parts of the country — faces a challenging season this year.

“These conditions, this early in the season, are unprecedented,” Blair said. “As of this morning, I can confirm that we have approved a request for assistance from the province of Nova Scotia that we received yesterday,” Canadian Armed Forces will assist provincial emergency management officials with planning and coordination support, ignition specialist personnel and equipment, and other firefighting resources, Blair detailed in his description of the assistance.

According to Blair, there are currently 211 wildfires burning across the country, including 82 “out of control.” In addition, federal officials say at least 100 U.S. firefighters will be arriving in Nova Scotia over the weekend to help knock down out-of-control wildfires that have forced about 21,000 people from their homes since Sunday. Another 200 firefighters arriving from South Africa will likely end up in Alberta, though officials say the wildfire situation in the country is fluid.

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