Almost 100 Canadian personnel deployed to Australia to help fight wildfires

Jan 3 2020, 4:13 pm

Close to 100 highly-trained personnel from Canada have been deployed to Australia to help fight ongoing wildfires.

A fifth team of Canadian firefighters is set to be deployed to Australia by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), as part of a Canadian contingent from wildfire agencies across the country.

A state of emergency was declared in the region at the end of last year, as the wildfires continue to ravage wildlife and animals, with estimated 480 million animals estimated to have died  in the ongoing bush fires plaguing Australia since September 2019.

 

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The most recent set of personnel will join three deployments already supporting Australian crews, bringing the total number of Canadian personnel to 95 by January 6.

According to the CIFFC, the latest deployments will then replace the first group of 21 firefighters that left for Australia December 3.

“Throughout the holiday season, the Canadian agencies worked diligently to find additional resources to assist our friends in Australia,” said Kim Connors, Executive Director of the CIFFC in a release.

“Canadians continue to offer their heartfelt support and sympathy to the people of Australia and the Canadian wild land community is working hard to identify additional resources in order to help with their suppression efforts.”

According to the CIFFC, none of those being deployed are front-line firefighters, and the Canadian specialists will assume a variety of roles within Incident Management Teams (IMT), including roles in command, aviation, planning, logistics and operations.

“There will soon be team members from Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland Labrador and Parks Canada assisting with the fire-fighting efforts in Australia, primarily in the state of New South Wales,” said the release.

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Satellite Images of smoke plumes over New South Wales, Victoria, Australia