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Montana Hotshots headed to Alberta fires

Montana Hotshots headed to Alberta fires


Multiple Montana Hotshot firefighter crews will dispatch to Alberta Wednesday as the province deals with more than two dozen large wildfires.

Helena, Lolo, Bitterroot and Flathead national forest Hotshots will leave from Great Falls. Rogue River Hotshots from Oregon will join them, said Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest public affairs officer Kathy Bushnell.

The crews do not yet know much about where they will go or their mission once they get there, which is not uncommon at this stage, she said.

More than two dozen fires are burning in Alberta and 10,000 people have been forced from their homes. The government agency Alberta Wildfire reports the largest blaze is out of control about 450 miles north of Edmonton and had burned 887 square miles at the end of last week.

Smoke from the fires drifted into several Western states last week, causing air quality in Helena to reach "unhealthy" levels for nearly a day.

Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin


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