Working on Fire team to return from Canada

The Working on Fire (WoF) team will on Tuesday return to the country from the North American country.

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy and the High Commissioner of Canada in South Africa Sandra McCardell will on Tuesday jointly hold a media briefing to mark their return.

The department said the 45-member team spent almost 30 days at the Province of Alberta in Western Canada assisting in combating the huge Chuckegg fire which has burnt over 340000 ha by the time they returned home.

“The WoF fire fighters formed part of teams of fire fighters from all over Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Colombia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Yukon, North West Territories, Mexico and USA combatting the fire which started on the 12th May 2019,” the department said.

The South African Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Department of Natural Resources, in terms of which either country may request urgent support from the other with regards to wildfire management.

The department said the deployment of the WoF fire-fighters at the Province of Alberta in Western Canada further deepens the relations between Canada and South Africa on integrated fire management capacities.

The arrival time of the WoF fire-fighters is set for 7am. Once landed and cleared by the customs they will be greeted by the Minister and the High Commissioner of Canada.

Prior to the joint media briefing, the WoF fire-fighters will receive their deployment commemorative badges and folders from the Minister and the High Commissioner.