Four NWT firefighting staff will be bound for Australia on Thursday and Friday from Vancouver.

While they are firefighters, they won’t be on the front lines. The four will instead be assisting with overhead management and organization.

The team will be split between instant management teams and air operation sections. Their deployment, which is expected to last roughly 30 days, will also include time to rest as they assist Australian crews, according to Mike Gravel, director of forest management with the department of Environment and Natural Resources.

They are: Marlon Labach, Air Support Group Supervisor; Raelene Lamalice, Resource Unit Leader; Spencer Porter, Air Tanker Base Manager and Jonathan Williams, Aerial Observer.

The wildfires are spread across Australia’s southeast.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Australian wildfires are spread across the country’s southeast, razing millions of acres of land since October. As a result, 27 people have died, including three volunteer firefighters.

Canadian crews battling the blaze have so far come from Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Yukon, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Environment and Natural Resources will be holding a press briefing later to share more information.


Nick Pearce

Nick Pearce is a writer and reporter in Yellowknife, looking for unique stories on the environment and people that make up the North. He's a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied Global Development...

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