Two Manitobans head to Australia to help with wildfire fighting efforts

By | December 2, 2019

Two Manitobans who work with the province’s wildfire program are heading to Australia to help battle wildfires that have devastated parts of the country. 

For weeks, Australian firefighters have been battling widespread bushfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and killed hundreds of koalas.

The two Manitobans are part of a contingent of 21 highly qualified Canadians who were selected by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) to travel to Australia. The agency had received an official request from Australian authorities to send help. 

The team will help with planning, aviation and operations in wildfire fighting efforts. 

A dehydrated and injured koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie. Hundreds of koalas are feared to have burned to death in an out-of-control bushfire on Australia’s east coast, wildlife authorities said. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

“We are pleased to help the people of Australia as they face these devastating fires, especially since Manitoba has been on the receiving end of help from friends and neighbours when wildfires and other natural disasters hit our province,” Premier Brian Pallister said in a press release. 

“There’s nothing more Manitoban than offering a helping hand when someone else is in need.”

The team departs for Australia later this week. They are expected to be in the country till mid-January.