- As fires continue to rage on in Australia, another 69 Canadian firefighters will join the efforts to fight the bushfires.
- Amongst them will be 23 Québécois firefighters and specialists in forest fire management.
- The new groups of Canadians will begin deployment to Australia from Vancouver on January 16, 2020.
Another 69 Canadian firefighters will head to Australia starting tomorrow, including 23 Québécois forest firefighter personnel. As Australia's bushfires continue to rage on the National Resource Sharing Centre in Melbourne "has requested help from Canadian wildfire agencies" to assist with the ongoing situation in the State of Victoria, according to a release by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).
The first deployment of Canadians who headed out on December 3, 2020 has now returned home and will be replaced, in a way, with this next wave of brave Canadians who will soon hit the ground in Australia and spend 31 days helping out.
According to CIFFC's release, 27 "incident management staff" will head out to Melbourne tomorrow, Thursday, January 19, 2020. Then, on Sunday the 19th, another 40 firefighters and 2 additional incident management personnel will join them.
This marks the sixth deployment of Canadian "wildland fire personnel" to Australia, where bushfires continue to rage, marking the worst bushfire season in recorded history.
The release also notes that Australian firefighting personnel have flown to Canada on three separate occasions as well, in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
The CIFFC notes, "we are proud to now reciprocate by providing support to them during this devastating fire season."
The teams will be leaving for Australia from Vancouver in the coming days and will be filling "operational, planning and aviation roles," which seems to imply that they will still not be "front-line fighters," as was explained in the first release by the CIFFC.
According to SOPFEU, La Société de protection des forêts contre le feu, of the 69 Canadians heading to Australia this week, 23 of them will be coming from Quebec.
Twenty forest firefighters and three specialists in forest fire management "will join the next deployments of Canadian resources coordinated by the CIFFC," SOPFEU explains in its release (in French). Quebec will then also loan to employees to the CIFFC to "support the coordination of Canadian aid on Australian soil."
According to SOPFEU, these Quebec firefighters have elected to go to Australia on a completely voluntary basis.
"Quebec firefighters responded in large numbers to this call to support their colleagues in Australia," the release explains.
According to RDI Matin, Frédéric André remains in Australia. André was amongst the first Canadians to arrive in Australia and the first Québécois to give his help and expertise.
André arrived in Australia on December 21, meaning his spent his Christmas down under.
When he's not in Australia being an international man of fighting wildfires, he maintains the role of Head of the Land Base in Roberval, Quebec, for SOPFEU.
Canadians can help by donating to the Australian Red Cross at its website here.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.