A group of 20 Victorian fire personnel will join an Australian and New Zealand contingent flying to the United States this weekend to battle more than 100 wildfires burning across the country.
Large wildfires have been burning out of control across California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington. More than seven million acres of land have been burnt so far this year.
Victorian crews from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (11), Country Fire Authority (6), Parks Victoria (2) and Emergency Management Victoria (1) will travel to Boise, Idaho, on Sunday before travelling to key areas which have been affected by fire.
They will be joined by another 51 personnel from Australia and New Zealand, including 18 from New South Wales, nine from Western Australia, four from ACT, three from South Australia, two from Queensland and 15 from New Zealand.
They will fulfil specialist leadership and field-based roles, including heavy machinery operators, task force leaders, divisional supervisors, airbase managers, safety officers and strike team leaders.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett
“Our firefighters put their lives on the line to protect others and I want to thank them once again for leaving their homes for four weeks to support our international colleagues.”
“The situation in the United States is extremely volatile. Our aim is to help bring these wildfires under control as quickly as possible.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
“International deployments allow us to share personnel, resources and aircraft, and support other countries in their time of need.”
“Victoria’s fire agencies are pleased to provide essential support during this dynamic and complex situation, and will continue to strengthen our relationship with the United States.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020