Provincial government sending 2 firefighters to Australia to help with wildfires

WINNIPEG — A pair of highly-trained firefighters from Manitoba’s wildfire program are headed to Australia to help crews deal with continuous fires burning in the area.

These two firefighters will be joining 19 other Canadians who will be deployed to Australia on Tuesday, where they will be assigned to fire operations in New South Wales.

“We are pleased to help the people of Australia as they face these devastating fires, especially since Manitoba has been on the receiving end of help from friends and neighbours when wildfires and other natural disasters hit our province,” Premier Brian Pallister said in a news release.

“There’s nothing more Manitoban than offering a helping hand when someone else is in need.”

On Nov. 29, the Winnipeg-based Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre received a request to help fight the wildfires burning in Australia, with several volunteers stepping up from Wildland Fire Agencies across the country.

The Canadian crew is made up of firefighters from Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Parks Canada.

The group will provide aid to the Incident Management team and cover a variety of roles, including, planning, aviation, and operations.

The firefighters are expected to be in Australia for 38 days, where they will offer their expertise and provide relief to the Australian crews who have been fighting the wildfires.

The team is expected to return home to Canada in mid-January.

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