British Columbia’s wildfire season has been deemed “unprecedented.” The province needs help from its neighbors to the south. But they may not be able to get it.
More than 1 million acres have burned in British Columbia so far this summer. But Washington Department of Natural Resources Fire Operations Chief Aaron Schmidt said right now all he can do is talk daily with his Canadian counterparts.
“I truly don’t believe we have any availability for excess resources to be shipped up to British Columbia right now between the fires we have and the fires we will get,” Schmidt said.
Canada and the United States have a mutual agreement to assist in wildland firefighting. But in Washington, things aren’t looking so hot—or rather they are looking a little too hot.
“We aren’t quite to the witching hour, if you will, of historical fire seasons,” Schmidt said. “That’s still in the next few weeks.”
Schmidt said excessive heat and a long dry spell could set Washington up for a situation similar to what happened in 2015, when more than a million acres burned statewide.
Oregon is also facing peak fire season, with triple-digit temperatures all over the state.