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MNICS resources are in Canada and 10 states

Although the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ have passed, fire activity continues to peak across the western U.S. and Canada. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) expects elevated fire potential into September and more than 19,500 firefighters are currently assigned to fires in seven geographic areas (see today’s situational report).

September 2017 national outlook
Fires in Manitoba
Fires in Manitoba

Currently, hot and dry conditions are building in the western third of the lower 48 states. Fire danger in Canada persists and many active fires in British Columbia have forced evacuations, closed roads and threatened property and infrastructure.

Minnesota Incident Command System (MNICS) is doing its part to help the cause with nearly 245 resources assigned to Manitoba and 10 states (California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming).

The Minnesota Interagency Fire Center (MIFC) has mobilized nine Type-2 initial attack crews so far this summer. Three four-person crews, comprised of Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact members, are in Manitoba at Fire #71, which is more than a thousand acres burning into spruce and lowland bog.

MIFC crew 4 mobilization 7
MIFC crew #4 at Meyers Fire in Montana

MIFC crew #4 was assigned to the 16,100-acre Meyers Fire in Philipsburg, Montana. They are headed home today. Recently, the National Guard was called in to help local law enforcement and the 356 personnel currently assigned to that fire.

Wildfire activity continues in northwest California and southwest Oregon. Brookings, Oregon is under an evacuation warning as the 102,333-acre Chetco Bar Fire that started July 12th has destroyed homes, delayed school openings and scorched 156-square miles. Currently at zero percent containment, fire acreage there quadrupled in four days as nearly 1,400 personnel battled surface spread hampered by the “Chetco effect,” gusts of northeast, off-shore winds that propel the fire.

Sapphire Complex (Phil Millette photo)
Sapphire Complex (Phil Millette photo)

Montana has had its share of wildfires this summer. To give you an idea of fire conditions there, Phil Millette (FWS) recorded this video of tree torching at the Sapphire Complex. Located 25 miles southeast of Missoula in the Rock Creek Drainage area, the 38,600-acre complex is comprised of the Little Hogback, Goat Creek and Sliderock fires.

VLAT at Sapphire Complex in Montana (Phil Millette photo)
VLAT at Sapphire Complex in Montana (Phil Millette photo)

The Minnesota State Fair began yesterday and runs through Sept. 4, 2017. Today is Wildfire Prevention Day and fire officials are helping fairgoers learn about fire-safe behavior. You can visit the booth and get your photo taken in the giant hiking boot or learn more about prevention, firefighting equipment and how to escape safely from a fire.