South Africans are working hard in Canada in assisting with wildland fires
48 Participants from Working on Fire are currently in Alberta, Canada, to provide much needed support to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), as hundreds of fires have swept across much of Western Canada during the past month.
As part of a resource sharing arrangement between Canadian firefighting agencies and WoF, the crews will initially be deployed to Edmonton, from where they will be dispatched to assist with the suppression of wildland fires in the surrounding forestry areas.
We are pleased to note that, as part of the Canadian deployment preparation, the WoF training standards and qualifications were verified against the Canadian, USA, Mexico, Australian and New Zealand systems and our training was way up there, being compatible with international standards.
This is the first time that such an exercise has been undertaken in Canada and we hope that it will pave the way for future cooperation between South Africa and Canada.
Let us all continue to stand behind these crews and wish them well in carrying the SA Flag over in Canada.
The Alberta deployment is under the care and control of Morgan Kehr, Director or the Wildfire Operations Section, and his very capable support crew.
The crews were deployed to the Brintnell Fire #163, situated north east of the Town of Slave Lake. The area is dominated by Boreal Forest, which is often stuff that postcards are made of. Most trees native to the Canadian boreal are conifers, with needle leaves and cones. These include: Black Spruce, White Spruce, Balsam Fir, Larch (Tamarack), Lodgepole Pine, and Jack Pine.
Crews are doing very well on the line and the DivSups are impressed at their production.