PEREGRINE – OVERVIEW
On August 2, 2003, with forest fires burning throughout the province,
the Government of British Columbia declared a state of emergency. The
next day, the B.C. Government requested military assistance and Operation
PEREGRINE was launched. Within 24 hours, the first soldiers, deployed
from Land Force Western Area, had arrived in Merritt, B.C.
At the height of the crisis, about 800 fires were burning in B.C. and
tens of thousands of people had been ordered out of their homes. More
than 2,200 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel were involved in fighting
five of the worst fires, at Barriere-McLure, Okanagan Mountain Park,
Vaseux Lake, McGillivray and Kuskanook.
CF personnel extinguished "hot-spots" - underground fires
fed by fuel sources such as tree roots - to stabilize less active areas
of the fire zone, and worked behind the lines to deliver medical, administrative
and logistics services. They also joined the civilian fire-fighters
on the front line to subdue emerging and unstable fires when required.
Operation PEREGRINE lasted 45 days and involved more than 2,600 soldiers,
sailors and Air Force personnel from across the country (including about
900 Reservists). It was the CF's third-largest recent domestic operation,
after the 1998 ice storm (Operation RECUPERATION ) and the 1997 Red
River flood (Operation ASSISTANCE).
in Our Backyards exhibit-
Okanagan Military Museum has installed a temporary exhibit that includes
photographs taken by Canadian Forces Photographers and Public Affairs
personnel. Along with the photographs, artifacts from the operation
and information boards illustrating the role of the military in the
battle against the fires, have been combined to describe this, the largest
Canadian Forces operation in BC since the large-scale Fraser River floods
of the late 1940s.
a look at some examples of the exhibit - go to: