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Evacuations due to Wildfires in Washington and Montana

Release Date: 
August 24, 2015

Blaine, Wash. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) priorities during the mandatory evacuation caused by wildfires in the states of Washington and Montana is to protect life and property. All persons, regardless of immigration status, are strongly encouraged to heed the instructions of state officials and evacuate from any dangerous areas.

Border Patrol agents surveying the fire damage

Border Patrol agents surveying the fire damage

CBP is aware some of the evacuated individuals may not have Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant travel documents due to the evacuation; however, CBP does not and will not refuse re-admittance of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents back into the United States, even without documentation/passport. Ports of entry (POE) will facilitate their entry back into the United States.

"Our primary focus is to help people and communities in need to recover from the fires, conduct search and rescue operations into impacted areas, help local law enforcement maintain peace and order, and to provide law enforcement escort for first responders," said Area Port Director Dan Escobedo.

CBP is a part of the federal government’s response to the wildfire evacuation(s) by conducting search and rescue missions, providing law enforcement support and force protection to local authorities, and by conducting aerial damage assessments of key infrastructure.

CBP is working diligently to ensure normal operations at our regional ports of entry and to facilitate the flow of commercial goods and international passengers. Due to the closure of Highway 395 near the Laurier POE, CBP advises all non-local traffic be re-routed to the Danville or Frontier POEs. During this period, CBP will honor permits for the Laurier POE at the Danville and Frontier POEs. Additional POEs could be affected by road closures. Updates will be posted to the CBP Cargo Systems Messaging Service at the CSMS.

Updates for road closures can be located at the WSDOT website.

Wildfire updates can be located at the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center or the Incident Information System at the InciWeb.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017