Idahoans answer the call to help fight escalating fires in Canada

Posted at 12:31 PM, May 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 14:36:22-04

Responding to a request from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), federal firefighting resources and support personnel have been assigned to help fight the numerous wildfires in Canada.

In a press release distributed by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), in addition to the request for support personnel, a second request for resources, including fireline specialists, hotshot crews, incident management teams, and equipment was issued.

In answer to the call, 60 individuals and personnel from Idaho have been assigned to aid in combating fires in Alberta, and the Great Basin Cache at the NIFC has sent radio kits, tanks, pumps, and accessory kits to contribute to the efforts.

CIFFC has upgraded the efforts to Preparedness Level 5, the highest wildland fire activity, due to continued hot and dry conditions causing extreme fire activity across all provinces in Canada. Declaring a Level 5 is an indication that there is a concern about exhausting all local fire resources.

The Northwest Wildland Fire Protection Agreement (Northwest Compact) has been in place since 1999 between Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, Saskatchewan, and Northwest Territories/Forests) and the States of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Through this agreement, states will dispatch personnel and equipment, including ground and air, to aid Canada's fire resource agencies.

“With wildland fires straining the suppression efforts of our international partners in Canada, it is critical we use every authority and available resources to provide assistance,” said George Geissler, Washington State Forester and the National Association of State Foresters Fire Committee Chair. “The interagency wildland fire community is committed to protect the communities and the natural resources we all rely upon.”

For the most current information concerning the wildfires burning in Canada, please visit the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre webpage at [].