Nowra firefighter helping with Canadian fires

Local NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Area Manager Alex Deura has flown to Canada to help with the escalating wildfire emergency in British Columbia.

Walking the fire line

Nowra-based Alex left Sydney last week as one of 34 NPWS specialist firefighters being sent to join the international firefighting operation.

NPWS South Coast Branch Director Kane Weeks said Alex is a very experienced firefighter who will no doubt make a significant contribution to the Canadian forces as they tackle this fire emergency.

“His role will be a Divisional Commander where he will be working in the rugged and remote terrain of British Columbia,” Mr Weeks said.

“Alex’s local experience will go a long way towards helping his colleagues in this wildfire emergency.

“We expect Alex and his NPWS colleagues to be away for around 40 days, undertaking two 14-day shifts with two rest days in between.

“The days will be long and hard and we are very proud that Alex is there representing the Service and the local community.

“We wish him all the best and want him to stay safe while undertaking this extremely challenging work,” Mr Weeks 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 129 firefighters to Canada on behalf of NSW and the ACT.

Photos for media: Flickr: NPWS Canada deployment