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WA firefighters assist with Canadian blazes

Four Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) will travel to Canada’s British Columbia to help battle 130 widespread forest fires.

The officers – Brad Barton, Tony Mennen, Paul Musarra and Dr Adrian Wayne – are highly experienced in a variety of incident management roles including planning, logistics and operations.

They are scheduled to depart Perth Airport today and will be based in various locations across British Columbia for up to six weeks.

The deployment has been facilitated through an agreement between Australia’s National Aerial Firefighting Centre and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre for the purposes of assisting each nation with critical bushfire emergencies.

Acting Environment Minister David Templeman said “This latest deployment continues a tradition of international assistance in times of crisis, with Western Australian firefighters having served in Canada in 2009, 2014 and 2015.

“Our firefighters are performing a vital role in helping to relieve exhausted Canadian emergency services crews who have been battling major fires since earlier this month.

“With more than 2.5 million hectares of forested land currently managed by DBCA, these Western Australian officers are well prepared to deal with the challenging conditions they will confront in Canada.

“Apart from the mutual assistance benefits of these deployments, experience has shown them to be excellent professional learning opportunities for staff.

“The knowledge they gain will help our fire services stay up-to-date with latest developments in firefighting worldwide.”

Source: Media Statements – WA firefighters assist with Canadian blazes