Firefighters from British Columbia have been deployed to battle “unprecedented” wildfires in Australia, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).
13 firefighters from B.C. are already in Australia, with two additional deployments on Dec. 30th and Jan. 4 adding seven more B.C. firefighters.
The first group of firefighters was deployed on Dec. 3 for a 38-day deployment to New South Wales. The firefighters from B.C. were part of a contingent drawing from firefighters across Canada, including Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Yukon, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
CIFFC say that the crews will provide expertise and relief for Australian crews who have been battling wildfires nearly non-stop.
“Canadian agencies are always ready to lend a hand, whether it’s for a neighbour or someone around the world,” said Kim Connors, Executive Director, Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. “Canada has called on Australian firefighter four times since 2015, and we are pleased to be able to answer their call during this devastating fire season.”
The deployments follow an official request for additional assistance with the ongoing wildfire situation in Australia.
The CIFFC say that this is the first time they have coordinated a deployment outside of North America.