Government of Canada is providing assistance to Quebec in response to serious wildfires

News release

June 16, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario

On June 3, the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, approved a Request for Federal Assistance from Quebec to support their efforts to combat the significant wildfires in the province.

In support of this request, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, authorized the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to provide:

  • Help with fire turnover, clean up and hotspot dousing;
  • Planning and coordination support; and
  • Airlift for mobility and logistical tasks.

There are currently approximately 375 CAF members providing assistance in Quebec. These members, and other CAF resources will be deployed until June 24, with a possible one-week extension based on a joint evaluation of the situation with Quebec.

In addition to the CAF deployment, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has been on standby to assist the province with technical support and expertise in civil engineering. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) continues to support and work with First Nations communities, the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki, other emergency management partners, such as Public Safety Canada, and the Canadian Red Cross, to support response to and recovery efforts. 

The Government Operations Centre is working to coordinate the federal response to the wildfire situation in Quebec and across the country. Officials are working closely with federal and provincial partners to coordinate this assistance.


“Quebecers can be assured that all orders of government are working together to keep them and their communities safe during this difficult time. As the impacts of the wildfires continue to be felt across the country, it’s all-hands-on-deck when it comes to managing the fires. I would like to reiterate our commitment to helping those affected, and extend my sincere thanks to all first responders and members the Canadian Armed Forces.

- The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“I thank all members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their hard work to support Quebecers and all Canadians during this difficult time. The Canadian Armed Forces have always answered the call of service in times of need, and this wildfire season is no exception. We will continue to be there to support communities across the country, and keep Canadians safe.”

- The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

"We are fully committed to supporting the Government's response to the wildfires that have devastated communities across our country. Our goal is to safeguard our citizens and their property during the ongoing emergency. We are working closely with our partners across the Government to provide essential resources, from civil engineering expertise to emergency contracting. This is a challenging time for us all, but together, we will overcome it."

- The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Our thoughts are with First Nations in Quebec threatened by these wildfires. We continue to work with First Nations leadership and the provincial government to protect life and property and support affected First Nations through the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP), which will include rebuilding efforts as needed.”

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • The Government Operations Centre is responsible for coordinating the Government of Canada's response to emergency events.

  • In Canada, emergencies are managed first at the municipal level and if they need assistance, they request it from their province or territory. If the emergency escalates further, provinces or territories can request assistance from the federal government.

  • A Request for Federal Assistance is initiated when an emergency event overwhelms or threatens to overwhelm the resources of a province or territory and additional federal resources are needed to effectively support the impacted region.

  • Should a province or territory make an official Request for Federal Assistance, there is a well-established process in place for managing the request, through the Government Operations Centre, and includes provincial/territorial and interdepartmental consultation and coordination.

  • If provincial and territorial authorities require assistance, they may ask the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for help. When the CAF responds to natural disasters in Canada, it is known as Operation LENTUS.

  • CAF assistance complements and enhances provincial and local resources with unique capabilities, including military personnel and equipment. The primary objective is to help provincial and local authorities stabilize the situation and to reassure Canadian residents in the affected areas.

  • The number of CAF members deployed across the region will vary based on tasks that are identified by the provinces.

  • ISC’s Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) reimburses First Nations, provinces and territories and third-party emergency management providers 100 percent of eligible response and recovery costs, including evacuation costs.

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Annie Cullinan
Director of Communications
Office of the President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

Media Relations
Department of National Defence

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Zeus Eden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada 

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