Manitoba

More Manitoba firefighters headed to Australia to help battle wildfires

A group of 21 Canadians, including two Manitobans, is going to Australia on Saturday to assist in New South Wales, during what has been deemed the worst wildfire season in the country's history.

This wildfire season has been deemed the worst in the country's history

Fire crews fight to protect properties in New South Wales in this Dec. 5, 2019, photo. A contingent of 21 Canadians will leave this weekend to join the firefighting effort. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP/Reuters)

More Manitoba firefighters are heading to Australia to help fight the wildfires that are ravaging the country. 

At the beginning of December, two Manitobans went to Australia as part of a contingent of 21 firefighters from across Canada chosen by the Winnipeg-based Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. 

Another group was deployed to the Australian state of New South Wales on Dec. 19, while a third group was deployed to Queensland on Dec. 30. 

The original team is getting ready to return home and a fourth group of 21 Canadians, including two Manitobans, is heading to Australia on Saturday to assist in New South Wales.  

This wildfire season has been deemed the worst in the country's history, burning more than five million hectares and killing at least 19 people. It's estimated millions of animals have also been killed.

This is the first time Canada has made a co-ordinated effort to send firefighters to Australia.

Crews from that country have visited Canada, and were vital in helping British Columbia handle widespread wildfires in 2017 and 2018, said Stephen Tulle, duty officer with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, earlier this week.

With files from the Canadian Press

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