Gloucester-based NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) fire-fighting expert Emily Smith travelled to Canada this week (August 8-9) to help with the escalating wildfire emergency in British Columbia.
NPWS Manager, Anthony Signor said today Emily is part of the NPWS team of 34 specialists and remote area fire crew being sent to join the international firefighting operation.
Emily is a highly skilled and dedicated NPWS fire expert travelling a long way to help our Canadian counterparts to contain the widespread and escalating fire activity currently being experienced there,” Mr Signor said.
“Emily is one of 30 NPWS remote area firefighters who left Sydney on Tuesday and Wednesday, as part of a deployment which will be working of foot in the remote rugged regions of British Columbia.
“Four other NPWS officers who left on Saturday are part of a team of 29 aviation specialists and fire ground commanders.
“The firefighters are expected to be away from their loved-ones for up to 40 days,” Mr Signor said.
The NPWS firefighters are deployed under the NSW cooperative firefighting arrangements, with NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and the Forestry Corporation of NSW.
British Columbia’s arrangement with Australia in sharing firefighting resources has been in place for over 15 years.
This agreement allows for the exchange of personnel, knowledge, skills, equipment, technology and mutual support in the event of an emergency.
NSW RFS is coordinating the deployment of up to 100 firefighters to Canada on behalf of NSW and the ACT.