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Australian firefighters touch down in B.C.

34 Australian firefighting personnel are arriving in B.C. to help combat wildfires.

B.C. government officials said the Australian group will include one nine-person incident management team and various specialized operational leadership roles, such as task force leaders, divisional supervisors and technical specialists.

“Australia and Canada have a long history of helping each other out when wildfire activity is high,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“During this extremely challenging fire season, we greatly appreciate the support we’re receiving from Canadian provinces, the federal government and our partners abroad.”

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Provincial officials said the Australian firefighters will be following strict COVID-19 protocols. They will live and work in operational “bubbles” and will remain in their own bubbles when away from the fire line.

“It’s encouraging to see the support we’re receiving from Australia as we continue to strengthen our firefighting response,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“That country has also experienced extremely difficult fire seasons recently, so they understand our situation and I’m pleased they are providing assistance.”

The Australians are joining hundreds of other out-of-province personnel now working on B.C. wildfires.

Out-of-province firefighters

– Australia: 34
– Mexico: 101
– Quebec: 134
– Alberta: 61
– Nova Scotia: one
– Parks Canada: 17
– Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC): one
– Canadian Armed Forces: approximately 90 as of July 23 (increasing to 250 by July 28)

The Australian firefighters will be touching down in Vancouver on July 27, 2021.

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