Three Nova Scotians joining Canadian team that will battle wildfires in Australia
A firefighters backs away from the flames after lighting a controlled burn near Tomerong, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in an effort to contain a larger fire nearby. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
HALIFAX -- Three Nova Scotians will be heading to Australia to help battle the wildfires plaguing the country.
The trio work with the provincial Department of Lands and Forestry and will be leaving Wednesday to join a Canadian team.
The three Nova Scotians will fill management roles "critical to frontline operations," the department said in a news release.
"We're happy to be able to help another country in its time of need," said Paul Schnurr, an incident commander with the Department of Lands and Forestry. "Australia has been there for Canada when we needed them on some of our big fires, it feels great to be able to return the favour."
The team of 27 from across Canada will meet in Vancouver and travel together from there to the state of Victoria in Australia.
"We have some of the top wildfire fighting expertise in the country available in our department and our staff are ready to support efforts to fight the wildfires burning across Australia," said Iain Rankin, Minister of Lands and Forestry. "I wish them all safe travels and look forward to welcoming them home safe and sound once their work is done."