Local firefighter helping with Canadian fires
Local NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Ranger, Neil Reckord has flown to Canada to help battle the hundreds of bushfires burning there over a staggering 1.5 million hectares in British Columbia.
Armidale-based Neil left Sydney this week as part of a specialist firefighting team to help relieve local crews over the next 40 days.
NPWS Area Operations Coordinator Aaron Simmon said Neil is one of 34 NPWS specialist firefighters currently engaged in the firefighting effort in Canada, these staff come from all over the state making up the largest overseas deployment of NPWS firefighters to date.
"Neil is a very experienced and skilled remote area firefighter and has been tasked to lead a team of remote area firefighters," Aaron said.
"A lot of our local firefighting is done in very steep, remote terrain it takes a high level of physical fitness and a good understanding of fire behaviour, crew and machinery capability.
"Neil's skills and experience are exactly what the Canadians are seeking most urgently with much of the fires occurring in the remote rugged regions of British Columbia.
"Overseas tours like this present a great opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with other fire agencies.
"There will be plenty of stories and lessons learnt that Neil will be able to pass onto other local firefighters.
"Neil's tour is expected to be include two shifts, both 14 days long with only two days rest in between.
"The work is expected to be hard and It's a long time to be away from family and friends"
"I am sure Neil will represent our local community and NPWS to the highest standard. We wish him well and trust he will enjoy this experience.