South African Firefighters Assist Canada in Battling Raging Wildfires

The Firefighters Will Work with 2,200 of their Canadian Peers in Battling 14 Wildfires. It Is Estimated that the Blaze in Fort McMurray Covers Almost 5,800 square kilometers

June 07th, 2016

It was with excitement and tears of joy that the 301 fire fighters and accompanying managers made their way to board flight Air Canada Boeing 777. The crew is expected to fly for over twenty hours before landing at their final destination, Canada, where they will be helping to stem raging wildfires. 

"As a country we needed to respond to the call for help from Canada as they are facing a major environmental challenge. Our fire fighters are brave and patriotic in going to the assistance of Canada", said Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson, speaking today in Gauteng at the official send off of 300 fire fighters from Working on Fire.

Air Canada flight AC7007 departed O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa for Edmonton, Alberta with 300 South African firefighters on board. It is carrying the largest number of wildland firefighters ever brought to Canada. The Air Canada Boeing 777-200LR is carrying firefighters from South Africa's Working on Fire Program ( who will assist in firefighting efforts underway in Northern Alberta. It is the largest ever deployment of firefighters from the organisation.

The Canadian High Commissioner in South Africa, Sandra McCardell, thanked the fire fighters for their commitment to Canada.

"Our fire fighters have been professionally trained to international standards and instructors from the Canadian fire authorities were in South Africa in April to train them in the use of the equipment used in Canada and they were also taught about the type of conditions they might expect", Dep Minister Thomson.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Maurycy Barański, CD News