Alberta wildfire
An Alberta wildfire firefighter crew holds a meeting while waiting to respond to emergency callsREUTERS/Chris Wattie

A number of countries have offered Canada assistance in handling one of its worst natural disasters — the wildfire in Alberta's Fort McMurray region, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has politely refused international help pointing out that the provincial teams will be able to bring the situation under control.

Russia, the US, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have offered help in fighting the fire with Vladimir Puchkov, the Russian minister of emergency measures, stating they are ready to send heavy water bombers and specialised crews if required.

According to a Global News Canada video report, Trudeau is grateful for the offers of help but has declined them. "It's been touching over the past days how the international community has been affected and responding to this tragedy... this ongoing challenge," he said during a press conference.

John Babcock, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada, also mentioned that international offers have been made, have been reviewed and were deemed unnecessary for the present time. He stated that accepting international disaster assistance would not set a precedent.

"The good news is that from the support we've seen from Canadians across the country, from provinces sending water bombers, engaged in all sorts of different ways, fire fighters coming in from all across the country to help. There is no need to accept any international assistance at this point but we certainly thank everyone for their generosity."

Currently at least 27 air tankers, 15 helicopters, 600 fire fighters have been deployed to fight the enormous blaze which has forced 88,000 residents to abandon their homes for safer ground.

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