ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Wildfires are still raging in Canada, burning over 9 million acres and bringing a large plume of smoke to the Northeast United States. The smoke from those wildfires lingering in the Capital Region for over three days.
As we start to see relief, New York State is now stepping up to help fight the fires in Quebec. Governor Kathy Hochul announced June 8, 2023 forest rangers and firefighters will be traveling to Canada to battle the wildfires, joining others from New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.
The Department of Environmental Conservation said the 15 firefighters traveling June 9, 2023 will be put on the front lines.
“It could be what we call initial attack where they are sent to a fire that isn’t staffed yet and they’re making the initial size up on it and they’re starting to engage and getting the initial control around it,” Lt. Scott Jackson, Assistant Fire Management Officer, said. “Or it could be working on a fire that already has staff and they’re just going to be additional staff to help provide effort on that fire.”
Once a control line is established, they work to suppress burning material.
“They’ll be just working the control line to improve it, find things that are still burning on the edge of the fire and just trying to suppress that burning material,” Jackson said. “Either by adding fire with a hose lay and pumping water into it or working on it with hand tools and digging it in with dirt to mix it in.”
Jackson said crews will be there for two weeks, working 12 to 16 hour days to control the fires.