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More fire crews sent to Alberta

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (May 26/06) - Fires in Alberta are facing the skills of firefighters from the Deh Cho.

Two five-person crews from Fort Providence and two crews from Fort Simpson joined crews from Fort Smith and Hay River to travel to the Red Deer area in Alberta, May 16.

As of May 23, the firefighters were working on a 1,000-hectare fire.

The fire is under control and the crews are working to ensure it doesn't spread and to put it out, said David Hahn, territorial duty officer for Environment and Natural Resources.

The crews are part of the resources provided by the government of the Northwest Territories as part of the Canadian Interagency Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement.

Two CL-125 tanks and one "bird-dog" aircraft have also been sent to Alberta.

Alberta has been experiencing dry conditions because of a combination of an early spring, strong winds and usually low humidity. Fire danger across the province has been moderate to high, but that might change.

Hahn said the province is expected to get rain over the next few days which might effect the crews and how long they will stay.

Local crews have already seen action in Alberta.

Fort Simpson sent two five-men crews of Nogha 3 and 4 at the end of April.

Those crews returned a few days ahead of schedule when rain quieted the fire situation.

Locally, the fire situation is very quiet in the Deh Cho, Hahn said. Warnings are low and are expected to remain at that level for the next while, he said.

Rain is forecasted for the area as warm moisture from a southern trough hits the cold air from an Arctic front running diagonally through the territory, Hahn said.

People are still being asked to ensure all fires lit outside are completely dead before they are left alone.

Fires can smoulder for a few days and re-ignite during dryer weather, he said.