U.S. resources support Canadian wildfires

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2023          
Contact: Jennifer Myslivy, jmyslivy@blm.gov, 208-789-6181

U.S. Resources Support Canadian Wildfires 

Boise, Idaho - The National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC), located at the National Interagency Fire Center has sent additional resources to Canada in response to a request from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) in Canada. There are approximately 225 federal firefighting resources and support personnel assigned to various wildfires in Canada. Currently, the CIFFC has moved to Preparedness Level 5 due to continued hot, dry conditions and extreme fire activity that is being observed on many incidents across all provinces and territories in Canada.  

In addition to the federal firefighting resources mobilized, several state wildland fire agencies are also providing personnel and equipment to support the wildfires burning in Canada. 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 have dispatched approximately 125 personnel and equipment including ground and air from the following states: Alaska (one airtanker and the Pioneer Pike Hotshot Crew), Washington (miscellaneous firefighting personnel, one initial attack hand crew and three engines), Montana (three incident management personnel), and Oregon (26 incident management personnel). Additionally, Oregon and Washington (including local fire service) have combined personnel to create a shared incident management team.

“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.”

A second request for resources was processed through the NICC who worked with various geographic areas to fill those requests. This request included an additional 24 fireline specialist/supervisors, 61 crew members from three interagency hotshot crews, 29 members for two incident management teams and equipment (handheld radios, Mark III pumps with kits and fold-a-tanks). The resources have been traveling the last few days and will be provided their initial orientation this morning in Edmonton, AB. In total, there will be approximately 625 federal, state, and local firefighting resources and support personnel assigned to wildfires in Canada.

For the most current information concerning the wildfires burning in Canada, please visit the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre webpage at https://ciffc.net/.