Other News Releases
For Release: September 10, 2020
Contact: Stanton Florea
NIFC Public Affairs
Canadian Fire Crews Mobilized to Provide Wildfire Support
Boise, Idaho – The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho has mobilized two wildland firefighting hand crews from Quebec, Canada to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in California. The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC) at NIFC comprised of fire managers representing the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Association of State Foresters, requested the assistance after determining that the U.S. is in need of additional support on large wildfires burning in the West.
The two Canadian crews, 40 firefighters total, along with agency representatives, arrived at NIFC this week and received an orientation briefing and fire shelter deployment training. The crews have since traveled to the Schneider Springs Fire (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7775/) on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (Washington state) where they will begin their fire assignment.
The National Wildfire Preparedness Level has been at 5, the highest level, for nearly two months. Currently, 59 large wildfires are burning across the western U.S. and more than 5.2 million acres have burned so far this year.
The U.S. maintains international fire assistance agreements with Canada, Mexico, Australia and other countries. Since 1982, the U.S. and Canada have maintained an arrangement between the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) in the U.S. and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) in Canada to ensure efficient resource sharing during peak fire activity. A large airtanker from Australia arrived in the U.S. in late July and has been assisting with aerial firefighting efforts on multiple fires.