Idaho Sends Wildland Firefighters North To Help Suppress Canadian, Alaskan Flames

Jul 18, 2019

When wildfires rage, it’s pretty routine to share fire suppression crews across state lines. It turns out that sharing firefighters across national borders is not uncommon either.


“Last year we actually did have a few folks from Alberta come down into Idaho to help us out as well,” says J.T. Wensman, the Fire Management Bureau Chief for the Idaho Department of Lands.


But now that Alberta, Canada needs help, it’s Idaho’s turn to send crews north. Idaho’s Department of Lands crew has dispatched around 15% of their firefighters to help fight fires in the Canadian province, as well as in Alaska. 


The fires in these northern areas are particularly bad this year. At the same time, traditional wildfire country is experiencing similarly off-trend conditions.


“The desert southwest, so that would be New Mexico, Arizona, they’ve had a slow start to fire season,” Wensman says. 


This means that there are more fire crews available to help wherever in the country – or world – they’re needed.


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