Released on January 6, 2020
This weekend the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) sent three more wildland fire management staff to New South Wales, Australia, for a deployment of 38 days.
These specialists join eight other SPSA staff already in Australia helping crews battle bushfires. They will relieve those that deployed at the beginning of December as part of a Canadian contingent co-ordinated by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).
“Australia is in dire need of help and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency is more than willing to answer that call,” SPSA President Marlo Pritchard said. “As a province well versed in evacuations and fighting wildfires, the province of Saskatchewan sends not only its assistance but also its heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragedy.”
This is the third Saskatchewan deployment of Canadian firefighters to Australia under the Exchange of Wildland Fire Management Resources Agreement. 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.
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.
The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency will not provide interview opportunities with staff members deployed to Australia at this time. Media availability will be provided shortly after personnel arrive back in Saskatchewan. A media advisory will provide notice at that time.
For more information, contact:
Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency