Canadians cross the border to help fight wildfires

Washington received over 100 firefighters from Canada to help suppress the wildfires

With Washington’s large, troublesome wildfires, Canadian firefighters were called in over the weekend to assist. On Sunday, fifty five of these firefighters attended a brief orientation from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Forty eight more will receive the same orientation today.

The Canadian firefighters come well-trained to fight wildland fires, however, they had to complete a fire shelter training test in order to fight fire in the United States.

Canadian firefighters had to train for use of a fire shelter, because U.S. regulations require shelters on a wildland fire.

British Columbia’s Wildfire Management Branch sent firefighters from the Cariboo, Kamloops, and Prince George Fire Centres.

B.C.’s forests and wildlands cover over 94 million hectares (there are 2.471 acres in 1 hectare). B.C. has approximately 2,500 wildfires that burn about 100,000 acres in a typical year, and 65% of those fires are lightning caused.

With Eastern Washington wildfires burning in such dry vegetation and very warm temperatures, the Canadian firefighter’s assistance is much needed.

The majority of the firefighters will be assisting with the Table Mountain Complex near Blewett Pass, where fires are forcing evacuations in the community of Liberty along Highway 97. 

Check out these links to stay informed and up-to-date.

Also, view photos of the Canadian’s orientation on DNR’s Flickr site.