British Columbia sends personnel, aircraft resources, to Delta Junction, Alaska, to aid wildfire suppression efforts under resource-sharing agreement

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia , May 27, 2014 (press release) – The Wildfire Management Branch is sending personnel and resources to Alaska to aid in fire suppression efforts, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

Seven specialized rapattack personnel and one helicopter from Salmon Arm are being deployed to Delta Junction, Alaska, which is approximately 130 kilometres southeast of Fairbanks. They are expected to depart by Saturday morning.

These personnel and resources are being deployed in addition to the airtanker group (consisting of two airtankers, one birddog aircraft and one Air Attack Officer) that headed to Palmer, Alaska on May 20, 2014.

Considering the current and forecasted provincial fire situation, sufficient personnel and resources remain in B.C. to respond appropriately to any fire activity. Crews can be deployed for up to 19 days, but can be recalled at any time.

Both requests for assistance were made through the Northwest Compact Agreement, which allows for mutual resource sharing with Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Alberta and Saskatchewan. All associated costs are covered by the jurisdiction requesting the resources.

Quote:

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -

“B.C.’s wildland firefighters are recognized as the world’s best. We’re pleased to be able to lend assistance to other jurisdictions when we are able.”

Quick Facts:

Rapattack crews: These crews consist of three rapattack firefighters who use helicopters and rope-rappelling techniques to access remote areas and to attack fires while they are still small.

Air Attack Officer: An Air Attack Officer is an experienced wildland firefighter with knowledge of both air attack techniques and ground strategies. An Air Attack Officer assesses the fire and directs airtankers to the most effective and safe suppressant drop locations.
Learn More:

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions in B.C., visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

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