Canadian Firefighter Magazine

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Western Australia firefighters coming to Canada to help battle wildfire disaster

July 27, 2021
By CFF Staff

July 27, 2021, Australia — A special taskforce of Western Australian firefighters are coming to Canada to help relieve exhausted crews battling the country’s worst wildfires in recent years.

“Having experienced our own bushfire emergency in Wooroloo earlier this year, the scale of the devastation caused by the wildfires in Canada is terrible to see, and we want to provide whatever support we can,” said Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby in a press statement.

The 17 men and women – from as far as the Kimberley and Great Southern – travelled to Perth over the weekend to undertake final physical and medical examinations ahead of their trip.

They will be deployed to some of the hardest hit areas in Canada, including Ontario and British Columbia, where a State of Emergency was declared last week.

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The taskforce is made up of eight volunteer firefighters, three Department of Fire and Emergency Services personnel and six Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Parks and Wildlife Service staff members.

They were due to depart for Sydney on July 26, where they will be met by New South Wales Rural Fire Service personnel who will also be travelling to assist in Canada.

The firefighters bring a range of skills to help battle the challenging fire front – including acting as incident controllers, divisional commanders, fire behaviour analysts, taskforce leaders, operations and planning officers and aerial firefighting specialists.

They join firefighters from Mexico and the United States of America assisting with the frontline response across Canada.

The seven-week deployment includes two weeks in quarantine when the group arrive back in Australia.