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Second deployment of Australian firefighters a welcome relief for Canada

Published: 10th August 2017

FRNSW Chief Superintendent Terrence Farley is part of a second Australian contingent deployed to Canada last week to assist with its ongoing wildfire crisis.

A further 100 specialist firefighters were deployed to the region of British Columbia.

They join the existing 78 firefighters, which include four FRNSW officers, already in the field.

A state of emergency has been declared in the region, as firefighters continue to battle 124 wildfires stretching 42,000 hectares.

FRNSW officers continue to assist more than 1,000 firefighters from Canada, United States, Mexico and New Zealand currently on the ground.

Chief Superintendent Farley said he would assist in relieving firefighters battling the fires.

“FRNSW will continue to provide incident management support for the Canadian Fire Services and allow firefighters some much needed rest and relief,” he said.

“All FRNSW officers have many years of experience fighting bushfires and are specialists in emergency management, so we are confident we will be able to contribute to their continuing operations.

The first Australian deployment are now positioned in eight locations across British Columbia. 

FRNSW officers will remain in Canada for up to six weeks.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said he was pleased FRNSW is lending its support to the firefighting operations.

“Australia has an on-going mutual fire management arrangement with Canada which allow for the exchange of personnel, resources and technology,” he said.

“This support has been reciprocated into Australia a number of times since 2000.

“FRNSW is ready and prepared to assist firefighters from other countries across the world when needed.

“I am pleased that FRNSW firefighters will provide much-needed assistance to our Canadian counterparts as well as have the opportunity to work with other highly skilled international specialists.”