Canadian military natural disasters
The Canadian Armed Forces has been deployed to the Northwest Territories to battle forest fires and assist residents (Photo supplied by the CAF)

There are currently 350 Canadian soldiers deployed in the Northwest Territories battling the 239 forest fires active there as of August 25. More are standing by to do the same in British Columbia.  

With extreme weather events rocking Canadian communities, the Canadian military is playing an important role in responding to natural disasters. Between 2010 and 2022, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) were deployed across Canada to assist in 37 natural disasters, according to government data. 

Here are the details of the CAF’s latest mission, and some background on this lesser-understood part of their work. 

A last resort

Using military force, whether in conflict or natural disaster, is usually the last resort. Emergencies are first managed at the local level by fire departments, hospitals and police, according to the CAF. 

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Fin DePencier is a journalist, photographer and filmmaker based in Toronto. Over the past few years, he has reported on the ground from Ukraine, Armenia, Lebanon and Kazakhstan as a correspondent for Palladium...