United States and Canada share firefighting resources

Saskatchewan air tanker 474

Above: Saskatchewan air tanker 474 lands at Medford, Oregon July 19, 2018.

Tim Crippin shot these photos of firefighting aircraft arriving at the Medford, Oregon airport July 19. The two air tankers and the Bird Dog aircraft are owned by the government of Saskatchewan. The planes were mobilized through the Pacific Northwest Compact to Oregon; it was not an action that was taken by the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC).

Saskatchewan Bird Dog 161
Saskatchewan Bird Dog 161 lands at Medford July 19, 2018.

The Canadians use “Bird Dog” aircraft in a role similar to lead planes in the United States. A Bird Dog usually works with two air tankers as a three-aircraft module. This one, 161, is an Aero Commander 690D.

Saskatchewan air tanker 471
Saskatchewan air tanker 471 lands at Medford, Oregon July 19, 2018

In addition to these three aircraft, other firefighting resources have been flowing across the international boundary in recent weeks from the U.S. to Canada:

  • NICC dispatched 12 wildland federal firefighters to Ontario, Canada.
  • The Northeast Compact sent resources to Ontario including three Type 2IA crews from New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. However, the New Hampshire and Maine crews were demobed earlier this week and the Massachusetts crew will be demobed on Sunday.
  • Maine will be sending a second Type 2 IA crew to Ontario on Saturday.
  • The Great Lakes Compact has sent to Ontario 10 single resources (2 aviation managers and eight firefighters).
  • Wisconsin State will be mobilizing eight firefighters also to Ontario, Canada.

No aircraft have been sent to Canada from the U.S.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

One thought on “United States and Canada share firefighting resources”

  1. It is very nice that we are getting cooperation from Canadian Provinces for providing air tankers ,when sorely needed . .This seems to be working well with P N C ,however it seem like NIIC is rather dragging their feet . Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation ,however I have not seen one ,yet .
    The U S should be better prepared and not have to rely much on Canada ,since when their Fire season really starts up ,those planes will not be available !

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