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Victorian crews deployed to help fight wildfires in Canada

17 July 2017


Thirteen Victorians are joining a contingent of emergency management personnel from New South Wales, Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Queensland, and South Australia to fly to Canada tomorrow to help manage more than 140 out-of-control fires in the British Columbia province.

The Victorian crew will join the 53-member Australian contingent which includes six personnel from Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), four from Parks Victoria and three members from CFA.

Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the deployment could potentially last 42 days.

"Victorian and New South Wales emergency management agencies have been working together to co-ordinate the deployment of all personnel on behalf of the other states," he said.

Our aim is to support our Canadian counterparts to bring the wildfires under control as quickly as possible.

“Australia has skilled firefighters and emergency management personnel who can operate in specialist roles and can work with our international partners.

“Our cross-border and international arrangements allow us to share personnel, resources and aircraft and it is important that we continue to operate with no borders, to support each other and our international colleagues when needed.

“We are proud of the relationship Australia has built with Canada over the past 15 years, and the support we can provide during their time of need.”

British Columbia’s relationship with Australia allows for the exchange of personnel, knowledge, skills, equipment, technology and mutual support in the event of an emergency.

Fire personnel from British Columbia were deployed to Australia in 2007 and 2009 to help respond to busy fire seasons here, given the Australian fire season typically occurs during British Columbia’s winter and spring months.

Personnel from Australia were deployed to British Columbia to assist with firefighting efforts in 2009 and 2014.