Forty-nine Victorian firefighters and emergency services personnel from Country Fire Authority and Forest Fire Management Victoria are travelling to Canada over the coming days to support the ongoing fire response in Alberta and British Columbia.
Wildfires in Canada have burned over two million hectares of land this season, prompting a state of emergency for Alberta and the evacuation of about 20,000 people.
Victoria is sending one incident management team and one fire crew to provide specialist personnel trained to bolster international firefighting efforts. These groups will form part of an Australian–New Zealand team of about 200 responders, assisting local emergency services groups for a month.
“Our goal is to support local crews helping to bring these wildfires under control as quickly as possible,” said the Acting Emergency Management Commissioner Amanda Leck.
The state has a robust, ongoing relationship with Canada, sharing personnel, skills and mutual support during emergencies. In 2019–20, Canadian firefighters were deployed to Victoria to assist Australia’s response.