Canada has offered a helping hand as Australia tries to contain one of the worst bushfire crises to occur in the country's history.
When Australia sent a call for help to the rest of the world, it was Canada who answered. 'Tis the season of giving, after all. Following true kind-Canadian tradition, a legendary group of compassionate firefighters is living up to the positive national stereotype. In an effort to tackle the raging bushfire crisis currently taking place down under in Australia, Canadian firefighters are voluntarily forgoing their Christmas break. The group is expected to assemble soon in order to fly down to Australia and begin their upcoming 38-day deployment, The Daily Mail reports. These firefighters truly, truly deserve a standing ovation!
The group consists of 21 experienced firefighters from The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center based in Winnipeg. The center received an emergency call on Friday, prompting the firefighters to volunteer their time off to serve the greater good. However, Winnipeg isn't the only region to send firefighters; Manitoba is sending two firefighters, while British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Parks Canada are contributing 19 others. The group was scheduled to fly out to Sydney on Tuesday for their 38-day deployment.
Brian Pallister, premier of the Canadian province of Manitoba, said of the helping hand Canada is extending, "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 neighbors when wildfires and other natural disasters hit our province. There's nothing more Manitoban than offering a helping hand when someone else is in need." Australia and Canada, Manitoba in particular, forged a stronger relationship with each other earlier this year when two Canadian teenagers went on the run after murdering an Australian tourist and his American girlfriend, sparking a massive manhunt. The tragic incident made national headlines in both Australia and Canada.
The emergency call comes after a red alert was placed for the 30,000-hectare Currowan bushfire near Batemans Bay on the state's south coast. According to reports, this bushfire has already destroyed one home in the area. A second alert was placed that same night for another bushfire raging near the northwestern outskirts of Sydney. Meanwhile, the 1800-hectare Three Mile blaze is close to the town of Wisemans Ferry and the eastern boundary of the 220,000-hectare Gospers Mountain fire. With all this in mind, the Canadian firefighters were selected for their unique skill sets in mind. They will help with a wide array of tasks as part of the Australian incident management team, such as planning, aviation, and operations. Hopefully, Canada's help will prove beneficial in quelling the damage the bushfires have already made and preventing any further destructing from taking place. If anything, the bushfires are a reminder of the effects of climate change, which can only be alleviated through international cooperation.