Australia/Canada — Six West Australian bushfire experts will be among a group of Australians and New Zealanders helping Canadian firefighters in their battle against blazes in British Columbia.
WA Environment Minister Donna Faragher said five officers from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and one from the Forest Products Commission (FPC) are included in the 22 Australians and eight New Zealanders leaving Sydney for Vancouver on Thursday.
Other Australians assigned to the six-week deployment near the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort include firefighters from Victoria and South Australia.
It is the first time WA has sent bushfire experts to Canada, although DEC and FPC officers have been part of teams sent to the US five times in the past nine years, Ms Faragher said.
“Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States use the same incident control system to fight wildfires and personnel can readily adapt to situations in other countries,” she said.
The officers would serve in a range of roles including incident control, operations, planning, logistics, information services and divisional command.
“After a briefing in Vancouver, the team will be deployed across a series of fires,” she said.
“They will do two two-week stints with a two-day break in between. We expect the crew to be away for around five weeks.”