Second Wave of South Africa Firefighters head to Alberta

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s Working on Fire programme is deploying a second contingent of 200 firefighters and 13 managers – Mzanzi Hotshots 2 – to assist in ongoing fire suppression operations in the Canadian Province of Alberta.

This follows an initial wave of firefighters, Mzanzi Hotshots 1, which were deployed to Alberta on the 1st of June 2023.

The deployment of both teams comes in response to an urgent request from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) in terms of the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Canada and South Africa, which was signed in 2019.

This season is historic for Alberta, as torrential rainfall, mixed with over 550 wildfires has resulted in significant and irreparable damage to both property and infrastructure.

“We are proud of the fact that South Africa is again able to assist Canadian firefighting teams in their battle to bring the wildfires under control. The extensive experience and training of these firefighters will significantly enhance efforts to effectively suppress and manage the wildfires in Alberta,” said Minister of Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy.

Recently, we covered the haze spreading throughout Canada and parts of America. The sky painted an eerie orange, is stained by the wildfires that progress through Alberta.

Find out more about this haze and the low quality of air on our sister site here. 

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