SA Country Fire Service

Media release

CFS volunteers deployed to help with Canadian wildfires


The South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) and National Parks and Wildlife Services South Australia (NPWSSA) are deploying firefighters from across the state to Canada from tomorrow to assist the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) fight escalating wildfires across their country.

Five CFS volunteers and NPWSSA staff will join more than 200 personnel from Australia and New Zealand are being flown to Canada following a request for assistance.

South Australia's firefighters will depart Adelaide on Friday and Saturday morning before flying out to Alberta.

Three CFS Divisional Commanders/Sector Commanders are being deployed including Anthony Casey from Peterborough CFS Brigade, Shaun Irrgang from Jamestown CFS Brigade and Terry Schutz from Mannum CFS Brigade. Divisional Commanders/Sector Commanders have expertise in coordinating and allocating resources, determining tactics, identify and mitigate risks, and communication.

The CFS and NPWSSA are also deploying one Heavy Plant and Machine Manager/Specialist from each agency to help coordinate the clearing of firebreaks with heavy machinery on the fire ground. CFS Region 6 Air Operations Brigade volunteer, Dyson Taverner, and NPWSSA staff member, Phil Sims, will travel to Canada this week.

Canada is experiencing significant fire activity with approximately 200 active fires across the country, which have already burned more than 1.9 million hectares.

Regional Services and Operations Director Scott Turner said providing CFS personnel is a testament to the professionalism of CFS volunteers.

"This is not the first time CFS has deployed volunteer firefighters to Canada and is a testament to our volunteers' skills and abilities that we are able to be deploy them at such short notice, both locally and internationally," Mr Turner said.

"Our highly skilled and well-trained volunteers are always ready to respond, whether that be to fires in our own backyard or overseas."

"It is an honor for Australian personnel to deploy to Canada. Fires know no boundaries and our firefighters are pleased to respond across borders to help."

The AFAC National Resource Sharing Centre (NRSC) coordinates resource requests from fire and emergency service agencies to assist in the management of large-scale incidents.

The deployment is proposed to be for approximately 35 days.

Media are invited to attend Adelaide Airport to photograph and interview Chief Officer Brett Loughlin and the departing firefighters this evening (Thursday 25 May) at 6:45pm near the ground floor baggage claim carousel.

Media information
For media enquiries call the CFS Media Line on 08 8115 3531.

Government of South Australia