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Posted June 16, 2011 EST

Mexican Firefighters Help In Alberta Fire
Canada (Alberta) - Firefighters from as far away as Mexico have joined the battle against an unprecedented wildfire that has charred 1.4 million acres in Alberta, officials said. Of 33 fires burning in the central Canadian province, only one is considered out of control, provincial officials told the Edmonton Sun. That fire is in the northeast, 40 miles north of Fort McMurray, where 700 firefighters are trying to stop its spread.

When the fire began May 15, provincial officials issued an appeal for help from outside the province, and about 1,000 firefighters from other provinces showed up. Sunday night, 40 firefighters arrived from Mexico, the Sun said.

The big blaze, called the Richardson fire, has blackened more than 1.4 million acres of land, which is larger than the province of Prince Edward Island, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.

Officials said the fire was in the wilderness and didn't pose a significant threat to any communities.

Hot, dry and windy weather has favored the fires, but provincial meteorologist Nick Nimchuk told the Sun rain and possibly snow was forecast to arrive in the northern regions later this week.

Another fire that began May 15 forced the evacuation of Slave Lake and burned down half the town.

Regardless, fire information officer Rob Harris said despite the intensity of this year's fires, there have been fewer of them than the average over a 5-year span, the CBC said.

Written by United Press International

Courtesy of YellowBrix
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