Victorians return from Canadian deployment

Victorian emergency management personnel sent to Canada to assist in the management of out-of-control fires have returned to Victoria.

A total of 26 people were deployed to Canada in stages starting from 18 July to support the management of fires across British Columbia. Ten Victorians landed in Melbourne this afternoon and just three remain in Canada, likely to return on 20 September.

Personnel across the two deployments included Forest Fire Management Victoria, Parks Victoria and CFA members.

Acting Emergency Management Commissioner Tony Murphy said Victorian personnel were able to provide relief for Canadian crews across a range of specialist roles.

“We have very well trained incident managers and teams in Victoria, including fire behaviour analysts, finance, logistics, air operations and support officers who have been able to use their expertise to support our Canadian colleagues in their time of need,” he said.

“In Victoria we have a long standing partnerships with Canada which allows us to share personnel, knowledge, skills, equipment and technology in the event of emergencies.

“There has been lots of work, at all levels in Victoria and Canada, to ensure this deployment was well co-ordinated and I thank all those who played a part in this.”

Forest Fire Management Victoria Chief Fire Officer Stephanie Rotarangi said crews had gained a significant amount of experience to bring back to their roles in Victoria.

“Our people have assisted in varied positions areas across British Columbia and have worked under some challenging conditions,” she said.

“There is no doubt they will have great stories of their experience to share and there will be opportunities for all of us, across the agencies, to learn.

“We are proud of all of our people who have been able to assist in Canada over the last eight weeks and thank you for the support you were able to provide.”