Smoke from the Stickpin wildfire in Ferry County, Wash. is visible from the Boundary region as BC Wildfire Services helps fight the flames.
As of Wednesday morning, the fire was 5 k.m. south of the Canada-U.S. border and was estimated at 19,240 hectares.
A press release sent out Saturday from the BC Wildfire Service says that the organization “is working closely with fire agency representatives in the United States to coordinate wildfire response for this incident.”
A 33-unit sustained action crew was sent to Washington Saturday night, and three officers and two pieces of heavy equipment with operators were sent Sunday morning, to help contain the northern flanks of the fire. The crew, equipment and officers were all prepositioned in Grand Forks before being deployed.
“The firefighters crossed the border last night, and then officers and heavy equipment were over there this morning,” said Fanny Bernard, fire information officer for the Southeast Fire Centre on Sunday afternoon. “And we’ve been working closely with the U.S. and Canadian border services, and they’ve been extremely cooperative.”
If BC Wildfire Services ends up providing air support, airtankers may use Christina Lake for air operations. If that happens, an air attack officer flying a lead aircraft will sound an alarm over the area before airtankers begin landing in the lake. Boaters are asked to stay off the lake if and when this happens.
In case the fire crosses the border and structures are endangered, the BC Wildfire Service also has structural protection firefighters in Christina Lake accessing priority.
Bernard wanted to express her appreciation to Christina Lake and Grand Forks residence for their cooperation during this crisis.
“The communities of Christina Lake and Grand Forks have just been overwhelmingly welcoming and to all the firefighters,” said Bernard. “The displays of gratitude have just been fantastic and they’re so appreciated.”
BC Wildfire Services is able to offer support in battling the Stickpin fire thanks to the BC Northwestern U.S. Wildfire Response Border Agreement, which allows for cooperative pre-suppression and wildfire protection along the BC and U.S. international border.