Support for the Canadian wildfire emergency is being provided by a contingent of 55 specialist firefighting personnel from Australia.
Minister for Emergency Management, Bridget McKenzie said the highly-trained team from NSW and Western Australia had experience in dealing with the type of fires that were currently threatening Canada.
“We have not forgotten the generosity of Canada in sending their firefighters to help us when faced with the horror of the Black Summer bushfires and now, through the States, we are able to return the favour,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Our Australian firefighters have travelled to Canada to support the Canadian crews battling the country’s worst wildfires in recent years.
“In British Columbia alone, they’re managing over 300 active fires and it is feared that these flare-ups will continue, so it’s crucial that we can get our men and women over there to help.”
The Minister said the deployment would provide a wide range of expertise, including bushfire commanders, incident management teams, bushfire behaviour, and aviation specialists.
“The Australian Government has been working closely with the National Resource Sharing Centre and the States to support logistics within the COVID-19 environment and, with support from NSW, the firefighters will return to Sydney for their 14-day hotel quarantine,” she said.
“The request to have Australian specialist firefighters help out is a testament to their professionalism, training and expertise, and we wish them all the best and a safe deployment,” Senator McKenzie said.