Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Sending Six More Staff To Support Wildfire Response Efforts In Australia
The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) is sending another six wildland fire management staff to New South Wales, Australia, for a deployment of 38 days. They will join 24 other members of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) team.
This is the second deployment of Canadian firefighters to Australia in the last three weeks under the Exchange of Wildland Fire Management Resources Agreement. A contingent of 21 Canadian firefighters deployed to New South Wales on December 3. Two of those firefighters were deployed from Saskatchewan. Canada has called on Australian firefighters four times since 2015.
The original group has been helping to manage wildland fire incidents in the areas around Glen Innes, Grafton, Casino and Kempsey in the northeastern part of the state.
The National Resource Sharing Centre in Melbourne requested assistance from Canadian wildfire agencies to fight bushfires along the east coast of Australia. Canadian fire management staff are filling operational, planning and aviation roles.
“Having Australia request more support not only shows how bad these wildfires are, it also demonstrates the quality of our staff,” SPSA President Marlo Pritchard said. “It also exemplifies the fact that Saskatchewan is a province of people that are willing to step up when others are in need.”
A severe and early fire season in eastern Australia has led to fatalities, property loss and the destruction of large areas of New South Wales and Queensland.
Saskatchewan is a member of the CIFFC. When appropriate, Canadian provincial wildfire agencies export firefighting resources at the request of other jurisdictions through mutual aid resource sharing agreements.
To learn more about the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/crown-corporations/saskatchewan-public-safety-agency.