Wildland firefighters from Missoula and other parts of Montana are headed north of the border to assist with efforts in battling blazes in the province of Alberta, Canada.

Forest Service Public Affairs spokesman Scott Fenimore said the crews are scheduled to depart from the Missoula airport on Wednesday afternoon.

"We've got the Lolo Inter-agency Hot Shot crew," Fenimore said. "We also have four hand crews from across Montana. We have Forest Service employees from the Kootenai National Forest, the Helena, the Lolo, and then there's also some BLM employees headed up. In addition to that, we have some smokejumpers from Missoula who will be traveling up, who will be helping to round out those hand crews."

Fenimore said the personnel will probably be working in Canada for at least two weeks.

"A typical assignment is 14 days, but because it's an international assignment, there may be some different requirements and expectations associated with it," he said. "We don't have specifics on what the assignment's going to be, but I imagine it will be in concert with the efforts around the Fort McMurray fire up in Alberta."

Fenimore said the U.S. Forest Service is glad to reciprocate after so many Canadian firefighters have assisted on wildfires in Montana over the years.


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