Hotshot crews from around western and central Montana are headed to Canada this week to help fight wildfires that have forced thousands from their homes.
The Northern Rockies Coordination Center (NRCC) confirmed the Helena Hotshots, Bitterroot Hotshots, Lolo Hotshots, and the Flathead Hotshots are all being dispatched to Alberta on Wednesday, June 5.
The teams have been given a 14-day assignment, but have yet to receive the specific areas in which they will be providing aid.
“This is our first assignment for the season and at this point we’re kind of chomping at the bit ready to go out the door and do some work,” said Tighe Stoyanoff, Assistant Superintendent of the Helena Hotshots.
Stoyanoff is an 18 year hotshot veteran and said he got into the business to help people.
The largest, the Chuckegg Creek Fire, outside the town of High Level, has burned more than 690,000 acres. The McMillian Complex of fires southwest of the Bigstone Cree Nation has also burned more than half a million acres.