Blue Mountains NPWS staff help Canadian fire effort

Three Blue Mountains-based NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff have joined an international effort to fight wildfires burning in Canada.

NPWS Darcy Ginty deploying to Canada

Peter Church and Levi Roberts are among a 12-strong NPWS contingent who have been deployed to help Canadian firefighters battling over 420 wildfires. They will be joined by another 10 NPWS Remote Area firefighters, including Blue Mountains-based Darcy Ginty, leaving Wednesday, 7 June 2023.

There are 248 fires listed as out of control and 3.6 million hectares have been burnt so far this season.

NPWS has sent highly-trained Remote Area Firefighting team members as well as incident management and aviation specialists.

NPWS Blue Mountains Branch Director David Crust said all NPWS crews are currently operating in the Alberta province.

Peter Church is assisting as a planning officer in incident management teams, Levi Roberts is an air attack supervisor and Darcy Ginty is a very experienced Remote Area firefighter.

"NPWS firefighters are extremely experienced and conduct about 75% of all hazard reduction burns across the state, in conjunction with the Rural Fire Service.

"We have firefighting crews who are specifically trained for working in remote places and these skills will be critical in helping control the many out-of-control fires," Mr Crust said.

"Our Blue Mountains staff will be part of the international effort for a 37-day deployment.

"During the 2019–20 fires , the Canadians came over and helped us in similar roles, so it's great to be able to return the service.

"We have very similar approaches to wildfire management so our crews will be fully integrated and will be able to provide support to the stretched Canadian fire fighters."