- Six WA firefighters join Australian and New Zealand contingent to fight USA fires
- Nearly 400,000 hectares burnt across 14 states, with 50,000 people evacuated
Six Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) have departed to the United States of America to help battle multiple large fires that have been burning across the north-west of the nation.
Luke Bentley, Peter Bamess, John Fishwick, Tim Hutton, Leigh Sage and Beverly Gardiner will be part of a 180-strong Australian and New Zealand contingent sent to assist with fire control.
The officers are highly skilled and experienced in a variety of incident management roles including planning, logistics and operations.
The deployment has been facilitated through an agreement between the US National Multi-Agency Coordination Group and the Australian National Interagency Fire Centre, with resources being managed via the National Resource Sharing Centre and Emergency Management Victoria.
The officers will join the Australian contingent in Sydney before departing to various locations in the USA for up to six weeks.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“These firefighters bring with them a great deal of experience and will play a vital role in helping to relieve exhausted American crews who have been battling the fires for the past month.
“DBCA has contributed to seven contingents to the USA since 2000 and the McGowan Government is proud to continue the tradition of providing international assistance in times of crisis.
“This will be an opportunity for our specialist Western Australian firefighters to share their extensive knowledge and draw on the expertise from international counterparts on bushfire management in a new environment.”