BOISE, Idaho — Washington will be among the states sending resources north to Canada as wildfires continue to burn along the western part of the country.
Early-season wildfires in Canada are causing thousands of evacuations, damage throughout 1 million acres and a thick blanket of smoke traveling south into the United States, reaching as far as Nebraska and including western Washington.
Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Montana are combining to send 125 personnel and equipment as part of the Northwest Wildland Fire Protection Agreement.
Washington is sending miscellaneous firefighting personnel, one initial attack hand crew and three engines. Oregon and Washington also are joining personnel to form a shared incident management team.
“With wildland fires straining the suppression efforts of our international partners in Canada, it is critical we use every authority and available resources to provide assistance,” said George Geissler, Washington state forester and the National Association of State Foresters fire committee chair. “The interagency wildland fire community is committed to protect the communities and the natural resources we all rely upon.”
Nearly 85% of Alberta, Canada is "abnormally dry" at the moment, according to the North American Drought Monitor. With near-record-high temperatures in much of the Pacific Northwest over the past several weeks, wildfires continue to burn.
Over 90 fires are actively burning in Alberta as of Friday morning, according to the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard. 56.38% of the fires are under control, but 26.2% remain out of control.
The Environmental Protection Agency's fire and smoke map shows a low Air Quality Index projection for all of western Washington today, as the height of the smoke in the atmosphere keeps it from impacting too much on the ground locally.