NSW sends fourth group of firefighting specialists to assist with Canadian wildfires
More than 50 specialists from NSW firefighting and emergency service agencies are on their way to Canada as more than 800 fires continue to burn across the country.
Marking the fourth deployment from NSW, this group will join an Australian and New Zealand contingent of more than 120 first responders departing this week, bringing the total number of deployed personnel to more than 700 this year.
Team members include arduous firefighters who will provide welcome relief to their Canadian colleagues on the fire front, along with incident management and specialist aviation support officers.
Canada has had more 3,900 fires burn through more than 9.7 million hectares since DATE which is almost twice the amount of bush and grass which was burnt in NSW during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.
Following briefings in Sydney and Brisbane, NSW personnel will begin departing for Vancouver on Friday and Saturday. The deployment of the Australian team is coordinated through the National Resource Sharing Centre.
There are 22 firefighters from the RFS, 15 from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, eight from the NSW SES, and three from both Fire and Rescue NSW and Forestry Corporation NSW.
Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib said:
“We appreciate the support of our Canadian colleagues during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires and it is with deep appreciation we continue to return the favour with our fourth emergency services deployment during this difficult fire season that Canada is facing.”
“I thank these men and women who are leaving their homes and loved ones to help their international colleagues battle this huge number of fires.”
“I wish them well, thank them for the hard work they will undertake in Canada and look forward to their safe return.”
Commissioner of the RFS, Rob Rogers said:
“Canada continues to see significant fire activity and the RFS is fortunate to be in a position to assist in coordinating the NSW contribution to the international response.”
“I thank those who are departing this week, along with those involved in the logistical task of organising this deployment, potentially of up to 42 days.”
“Continued international requests for Australian assistance are a testament to the professionalism, skill and experience of our fire specialists.”
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said:
“At the NSW SES, we know that protracted campaigns put incredible strains on human resources.”
“We’re proud to be able to offer the assistance of some of our most skilled members in this fourth deployment to Canada.”
“At short notice we’ve seen people put their hand up for this deployment – it wouldn’t be possible without the support of their workplaces, family and loved ones.”