Image Credit: Twitter/@BCGovFireInfo

Aussies are on the way to battle BC fires

These personnel will join more than 2,000 personnel already actively engaged in fire suppression

Firefighters have come from across Canada to help B.C. battle one its worst fire years on record and now more support is on the way, courtesy of Australia.

The B.C. government reports a contingent of specialized wildfire personnel from Australia will be coming to B.C. to assist with wildfire response.

“About 50 wildfire personnel, including a combination of officers and technical specialists, are scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on Wednesday, July 19,” reports the BC Wildfire Service.

“These personnel will be deployed throughout the province, based on current and anticipated wildfire activity. They could remain in B.C. for up to 38 days.”

The province says the Australians’ expertise will help maintain the BC Wildfire Service’s ‘high success rate for containing new fires’.

They also will augment the response to existing fires by allowing B.C. personnel to take mandatory days off so they can begin another cycle of fire suppression operations.

British Columbia has fostered a mutually beneficial wildfire management relationship with Australia for more than 10 years and has a resource-sharing agreement in place with the State of Victoria.

This agreement allows for the exchange of personnel, knowledge, skills, equipment, technology and mutual support in the event of an emergency. The cost of bringing in the Australians will be covered by the Province of B.C.

Wildland fire personnel from B.C. were deployed to Australia in 2007 and 2009 to help respond to busy fire seasons there, since the height of the Australian fire season typically occurs during B.C.’s winter and spring months. Personnel from Australia also were deployed to B.C. to assist with firefighting efforts in 2009, 2014 and 2015.

“These personnel will join more than 1,600 provincial staff, 940 B.C. contractors and over 450 out-of-province personnel already actively engaged in fire suppression in British Columbia,” adds the wildfire service.

“Hot and dry weather conditions have once again elevated the fire danger rating throughout the province. Most of B.C. is currently experiencing a “high” to “extreme” fire danger rating, which means that forest fuels are easily ignited. Firefighting crews are on standby in all six of B.C.’s fire centres in preparation for an anticipated increase in fire starts over the next few days.”

The BC Wildfire Service has responded to 657 wildfires so far this season. About half of these fires were caused by lightning and serve as a reminder that as lightning activity increases, extra caution is needed to prevent person-caused wildfires. Each person-caused fire diverts critical resources away from lightning-caused fires.

Report a wildfire or unattended campfire by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

800 meals donated for Cowichan frontline workers

They were at Cowichan District Hospital on May 25 handing out prepared meals to grateful workers

Cowichan CMHA officials respond to report, probation order

“there are important improvements needed to ensure greater fairness within our housing program.”

Cowichan RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Editorial: Minimal risk in sending kids back to school

Time to poke our heads out of our comfortable nests and venture out into the world again.

Water in Lake Cowichan just fine, says acting mayor

Tim McGonigle said there is no truth to rumours of water advisories

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read