Minnesota firefighters to aid in Washington wildfire battle

By KBJR News 1

Minnesota firefighters to aid in Washington wildfire battle

July 18, 2014 Updated Jul 18, 2014 at 2:19 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota is sending two 20-person fire crews to Washington and northern Oregon to help fight wildland fires that are threatening hundreds of homes.

The Minnesota Incident Command System is sending initial attack firefighting crews to the Chiwaukum Creek fire near Levenworth, Washington.

That blaze is endangering hundreds of homes, causing road closures and evacuations in the area.

The Minnesota crews will join others from Wisconsin and one from Michigan's Upper Peninsula at the Duluth Mobilization Center.

"We'll be on the ground, digging fire line right next to the fire, doing mop up, things like that. Working with other crews," said Pat Wheley.

The National Interagency Fire Center is sending a jet to fly crews from Duluth to Washington today.

These initial crews will each serve up to two weeks.

About 1,000 firefighters are battling the fires.

Newsroom staff