South Aussies return from Canadian firefighting stint
SA Country Fire Service (CFS) and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) will today welcome home six fire response professionals tasked with assisting Canada's emergency response to thousands of wildfires across British Columbia.
The 42 day deployment has seen the six South Australians applying their skill and expertise to some of the largest fires ever seen in the region.
State Coordinator Yvette Dowling said the contribution to international deployments strengthens team capabilities as we head toward the upcoming fire season.
"The Fire Danger Season for us in South Australia is now just months away so having people who can bring fresh lessons they've learnt from our overseas counterparts will be invaluable," she said.
"Crews were kept busy on a range of tasks including fire behaviour analysis, logistics, planning and public information with each member of the deployment committing to two 14 day consecutive rosters.
"We are very proud of their effort and involvement to the response in Canada, certainly conditions were challenging but feedback from Canadian authorities have been overwhelmingly positive on their contribution."
Extensive fires are continuing in Canada but their response will remain bolstered through further international deployments from Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.
"Our effort as part of the first deployment has meant local Canadian fire services can better manage the fatigue of their crews as they embrace ongoing fire conditions," said Ms Dowling.
"We still have two members from DEWNR in Canada, who were part of the second deployment and we continue to wish them well as they persevere with their effort over the coming weeks.
"During Sampson Flat and Pinery fires we called upon interstate agencies to assist, so being able to contribute not only grows our skillset but we know other services will be looking to return the favour."
Media are invited to speak with returning personnel at 1530 adjacent to the Adelaide Airport baggage carousel.