Firefighters fighting wildlandfire spanning both sides of border

A helicopter, one of four dropping water on the fire on the hillside near the Nighthawk-Chopaka border crossing last Monday afternoon. Photo by Gary DeVon

A helicopter, one of four dropping water on the fire on the hillside near the Nighthawk-Chopaka border crossing last Monday afternoon. Photo by Gary DeVon

NIGHTHAWK – A small fire spanning the U.S.-Canadian Border was still burning in scattered pine and brush in the hills near the Nighthawk/Chopaka Port of Entry.

The fire, which is believed to have started on Sunday, Sept. 18 had grown to 593 acres on the American side of the border and 50 to 100 acres on the Canadian side, according to Guy Gifford, a fire information spokesman with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“We have 140 people working in six hand crews and two engine Strike Teams,” said Gifford on Monday afternoon, adding that there are five engines in each Strike Team.

There are also several dozers working on the fire, according to Gifford.

The Americans and Canadians were both using helicopters to drop water on the blaze. On Sunday there was also an air tanker plane and a helicopter dipping water from Lake Osoyoos to drop on the fire.

“The firefighting is going well, most of the smoke is in the interior. Crews are trying to create trails and keep it contained where it is at,” Gifford said.

As of Monday afternoon the fire was listed as 20 percent contained.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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