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Okanagan Military Museum

TEMPORARY EXHIBITS

BATTLE IN OUR BACKYARDS
OPERATION PEREGRINE: THE CANADIAN FORCES
FIGHT AGAINST THE WILDFIRES OF 2003


Photo: Cpl W. Gomm, 38 Brigade

OPERATION 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).

Battle in Our Backyards exhibit-

The 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.

Take a look at some examples of the exhibit - go to:

Battle in Our Backyards

 

 

 

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