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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NIFC Mobilizes U.S. Wildland Firefighter Crews to Assist with Canadian Wildfires

Is that  copy of "Leading in the Wildland Fire Service" in a back pocket?

NIFC Mobilizes Wildland Firefighters to Assist with Canada Wildfires

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) mobilized over 200 wildland firefighters to assist with the Fort McMurray fire in Canada this morning . Five of the crews flew on a Canadian aircraft out of NIFC in Boise, Idaho, at 9:15 a.m. and another five crews flew out of Missoula, Montana this morning. 

The crews are comprised of Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildland firefighters.
“We have a bilateral firefighting assistance agreement with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which works well when either country is in need of wildland fire suppression resources. Canada has assisted the U.S. many times in the past, so as soon as Canada requested assistance, we quickly accommodated their request,” says Dan Buckley, NIFC’s National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group Chair.
U.S. Wildland Firefighters Mobilized To Fight Canada Wildfires

On May 10, the U.S. mobilized two heavy air tankers and a lead plane to assist with wildfires in Canada. The tankers, based out of Bemidji, Minnesota, flew retardant to wildfires in the Ontario province for one day. In the last 5 years, the U.S. has supported Canada twice. In 2015, NIFC mobilized 200 firefighters and one heavy air tanker and in 2010, 30 smokejumpers and one Type 2 Initial attack crew were sent to Quebec.

Conversely, Canada has provided support for wildfires in the U.S. Over the last five years, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) mobilized fire managers, large air tankers, water scoopers, smokejumpers and wildland fire crews, with the exception of 2010, as the U.S. did not request assistance that year.

For information about wildfires burning in Canada, visit the CIFFC
Photo Credits: David Walsh, NIFC External Affairs

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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