TORONTO, January 16, 2020 – Today, Ontario is sending another seven fire management personnel to provide fire management support and expertise to Australia, which is currently facing a devastating fire season. An additional two staff will be deployed Friday, January 17, bringing the total number of Ontario personnel committed to Australia over several deployments to twenty-eight since the start of that country’s fire season.
“Ontario is an internationally recognised leader in wildland fire management with staff who are highly trained and skilled in fighting wildfires,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “The severe fire season in Australia has prompted the need for additional support. We are committed to helping Australians in their efforts by providing our resources and expertise.”
Ontario participates in Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreements with its provincial, federal, and international partners. These agreements allow for the sharing of personnel, equipment, and aircraft between agencies during periods of escalated wildland fire activity.
As further assistance is requested, the province will assess the ability to deploy additional resources to Australia.
- Ontario’s first deployment of fire management personnel to Australia was on December 3, 2019, with five additional deployments taking place through December and January.
- Following deployments today and on January 17, Ontario will have sent a total of 28 staff to the states of New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria for deployments lasting 31 or 38 days.
- The first group of fire management personnel was welcomed home on January 9, 2020.