Canadian firefighters touched down in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday to a warm Aussie welcome.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service shared a video of 21 fire management personnel arriving from Canada to help fight the wildfires that have devastated the country’s east coast.
“A warm Aussie welcome to 21 fire management personnel from Canada who have landed in Sydney this morning to support the firefighting effort,” they captioned the video.
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 5, 2019
Grateful Australians took to social media to share their gratitude.
“@JustinTrudeau and a heartfelt thanks to #Canada for this support,” one person wrote.
Another said: “We have been humbled in our little Valley by the fire fighting support that has come from around the country and overseas. This is the best of us as humans. Thank you.”
British Columbia sent seven provincial firefighters after the Australian government reached out to the Canada Interagency Forest Fire Centre for help.
The team offers their services at the request of other jurisdictions who need additional resources.
Forest Minister Doug Donaldson said the BC Wildfire Service members headed to Australia are all in supervisory roles, including directors who prepare plans and oversee the allocation of heavy equipment.
More may be sent in the following months, Donaldson added. Saskatchewan also sent two firefighters over to help this week.
Fires have been ravaging the area for weeks, with approximately 110 fires reported across New South Wales on Thursday. Of those, 63 of them are not contained.
By mid-November, the fires claimed several lives and destroyed over 300 homes in just one week.
Bush and grass fires are currently burning with the most severe blazes surrounding Sydney, the state’s capital.
—With files from Canadian Press and Jonathan Guignard
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