FREDERICTON (GNB) – Eight New Brunswickers are heading to Idaho to provide strategic assistance in battling forest fires in the state.

The Department of Natural Resources is sending the men and women to help the Incident Management Team.

“These are highly-trained staff and they will be assigned to various high-level jobs, known as overhead positions, to assist in the management of large complex fires,” said Len Mosher, manager of the Provincial Fire Centre. “They will be involved in creating daily operational plans, assisting the finance section, helping with the strategic utilization of resources and managing large numbers of firefighters.”

In addition to providing assistance, they will gain valuable experience that will help them be better prepared to deal with New Brunswick fires in the future.

Fires in Idaho have consumed more than 160,000 hectares (400,000 acres) of forests. There are nearly 29,000 firefighters battling the blazes throughout the state.

“We are proud that our men and women can bring their expertise in firefighting to help with the efforts in Idaho,” Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry said. “We wish them a safe and successful mission.”

About 75 New Brunswick firefighters participated in two-week missions in the western Canadian provinces this summer.

Due to the relatively low number of forest fires in New Brunswick this year the province was able to provide these fire crews.