Telkwa Rangers in Idaho

A severe fire burning in Idaho prompted the state to ask British Columbia and the northwest for help.

  • Aug. 28, 2013 5:00 p.m.

By Amara Janssens:A severe fire burning in Idaho prompted the state to ask British Columbia and the northwest for help.

Earlier last week, the state requested a team of forest firefighters from the Northwest Fire Centre to combat the unfolding emergency situation.

The fire centre responded last Thursday by sending a 20-person unit crew, consisting of 12 members of the Telkwa Rangers, as well as eight personnel from Burns Lake. Dan Dykens from Telkwa is leading the crew.

The crews were sent to Incendiary Creek, with the nearest town located approximately 10 km southwest of Wieppe, and approximately 400 km north of Boise.

Another 20-person unit crew from the province, as well as two airtankers and a birddog aircraft were also sent to Idaho.

Suzanne Pearce, fire information officer for the Northwest Fire Centre, said more than 1,000 acres are in flames. The fire crews are also dealing with very difficult terrain, with canyons which are both steep and rugged.

The B.C. crews accompanied more than 300 American fire personnel.

As of early this week, the crews were cooperating to build containment lines, and to extinguish hot spots.

Pearce said the United States has experienced an abnormal level of fire activity this year.

“They’ve had a really hot dry spell,” she said.

The province anticipates recieving more calls of assistance, as more fires are ravaging parts of Idaho, Montana and California. The calls may not necessarily be directed at the Northwest Fire Centre, Pearce said.

Crews are able to be deployed out of the country for up to 19 days, but can be recalled at any time if a situation were to arise here.

Unit crews are called in for large fires and are self-sufficient for 72-hour intervals.