ACT firefighters to help tackle Canadian wildfires

Released 07/08/2017

Twenty-six Canberra firefighters are part of a 100-strong Australian team flying to Canada this week to battle rapidly spreading wildfires in British Columbia.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman today met with the ACT team joining the 42 day firefighting deployment.

“Our firefighters make up a quarter of the Australian team heading to Canada, which shows how highly-valued their specialist skills are,” Minister Gentleman said.

“There are hundreds of wildfires burning in British Columbia, and I am proud that Canberra firefighters will bring some relief to crews working hard to stop their spread.

“It will be physically demanding work for the team. They will be working in steep terrain in very dry conditions.

“While there will be challenges, this is a great learning and knowledge-sharing opportunity and will mean our firefighters can bring back some great experience to the ACT.”

The team is made up of 24 ACT Rural Fire Service firefighters, including 12 Parks and Conservation staff, and two ACT Fire & Rescue firefighters.

“After receiving some training on arrival, crews will work two 14-day shifts while away with a two-day rest break,” Minister Gentleman said.

“We have sent Canberra firefighters to Canada to help on several occasions. During the winter, our firefighters are ideally placed to provide additional surge capacity and those already working on the ground - as well as the local communities - would be extremely grateful for our help.

“Deployments are valuable opportunities for ¬increasing skills along with building national and international –relationships. I wish our firefighters well during their deployment, and thank the families, friends and workplaces for their support during their time away.”

- Statement ends -

Section:Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

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