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Australian firefighters headed to B.C. to help fight wildfires

Victoria -

A crew of Australian firefighters are on their way to British Columbia as the province battles hundreds of wildfires.

In total, 34 Australian firefighters are scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on Tuesday evening. The crew includes a nine-person management team, which includes specialised leadership workers and technical specialists.

"Australia and Canada have a long history of helping each other out when wildfire activity is high," said B.C. Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy in a release Monday.

"During this extremely challenging fire season, we greatly appreciate the support we’re receiving from Canadian provinces, the federal government and our partners abroad."

The Australian crews will live and work in "bubbles" to minimize COVID-19 risks while in B.C., according to the province.

In total, B.C. has 3,558 people currently involved in wildfire management, including 1,252 contractors.

Other out-of-province personnel include 101 firefighters from Mexico, 134 from Quebec, 61 from Alberta, one from Nova Scotia, 17 Parks Canada staff and approximately 90 Canadian Armed Forces members, with up to 160 more expected by Wednesday.

As of Sunday afternoon, there are 258 active wildfires burning across B.C., mostly in the Interior region.

Some 58 evacuation orders have been issued this summer, alongside 83 evacuation alerts due to wildfires. Top Stories

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