PRINEVILLE, OR -- A massive wildfire in Alberta, Canada continues to burn, destroying more than a million acres. Forty local firefighters are now in the region to help.
Patrick Lair, with the Ochoco National Forest, tells KBND News 40 firefighters arrived in Canada on Tuesday. "They sent 20 folks from the Prineville Hotshots; they put together a 20-person crew made up of Forest Service and BLM firefighters - they're from the Ochoco, Deschutes and Prineville BLM. They're what we would call a 'Type II Initial Attack hand crew.'"
He says they expect to be there for a while. "A typical assignment would be 14 days, could be up to 21 days, depending on the need. I don't have a lot of current information on the fires there, but I know it's huge. I think, the last time I checked, it was almost 1.3 million acres." The blaze is not under control. The northern edge is the most active, and the area has not received much rain lately.
Local crews join about a thousand other firefighters from around the world, and the 1200 already in Fort McMurray. "It's just part of the Wildland Fire mission, I think, to band together and support each other when these fires occur," Lair says. "Because they do cross agency boundaries, they cross state lines. This is part of a working environment that we see these folks in, every year."