Montana sending firefighters to help fight Canadian wildfires

DNRC Fire Resources
Posted at 10:43 AM, Jun 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-21 11:12:54-04

HELENA — Montana is sending wildland firefighters to help fight wildfires currently burning in Canada.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has deployed a Type 2 hand crew comprised of 22 wildland firefighters to Alberta, Canada.

“The State of Montana is happy to lend a hand to our neighbors to the north,” said Cory Calnan, Deputy Fire Protection Bureau Chief. “We as Montanans have greatly benefited from the convenience of the Northwest Compact and the ability to receive resources from Canada and other partner states when we need additional resources, so we’re thrilled we can return the favor.”

The crews are being sent via the Northwest Wildland Fire Protection Agreement, also known as the Northwest Compact.

The Northwest Compact, created in 1998, is an agreement between Canadian provinces and the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Montana. It enables member states, provinces, and territories to collaboratively address large-scale wildland fires by sharing information, technology, and resources across borders to ensure efficient mitigation.

Led by Crew Boss AJ Angelo, Clearwater Unit Fire Management Officer, the hand crew is staffed by Department wildland firefighters from across eight local units.

“The Department remains committed to collaborative efforts that strengthen the collective ability to manage wildfires effectively,” said Cory Calnan. “We extend our gratitude to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and all our partners within the Northwest Compact for their continued cooperation and support.”