Canada sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

WASHINGTON, Wash. — Canada is sending 230 firefighters from British Columbia and Alberta, as well as up to 50 additional fire management specialists, to help crews battling wildfires in Oregon.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre says the crews from western Canada, including Parks Canada personnel, will deploy on Friday in response to a request from the state for help on federally managed land.

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Fire Centre manager Edwin Gillis says the specialists, which include supervisors, managers and technical experts, will deploy on Thursday.

It's a significant increase in Canadian resources on the ground in the U.S. as firefighters battle blazes that are raging in California, Oregon and Washington state.

The 60 crew members initially deployed to the North Complex fire in northern California will be heading home, but they'll only be replaced by a single crew of 20, plus a supervisor.

Smoke from the fires is blanketing the continent, reaching as far away as Washington, D.C., and affecting air quality across much of southern Canada as it drifts east towards Europe.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2020.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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