Four firefighting specialists from the Northwest Territories are to leave Thursday and Friday for Australia to help battle the devastating wildfires Down Under.
The Government of the NWT is sending the four wildfire personnel as part of a Canadian contingent traveling to Australia to help with efforts to contain wildfires burning across the country.
The following Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) personnel are being exported through an agreement with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC):
– Marlon Labach, Air Support Group Supervisor
– Raelene Lamalice of Hay River, Resource Unit Leader
– Spencer Porter of Fort Smith, Air Tanker Base Manager
– Jonathan Williams, Aerial Observer
ENR did not provide hometowns for Labach or Williams.
They will be departing from Vancouver, and are expected to be deployed for a total of 30 days.
In an email, the GNWT states it is proud to be part of the Canadian contingent supporting the wildfire response in Australia.
“Northerners understand the dangers of wildfire and the devastation they can cause,” ENR spokesperson Joslyn Oosenbrug stated. “Every year, our communities are impacted by wildfire, and the NWT has recently experienced several challenging fire seasons.”
Meanwhile, as CKLB News reported first, a former Fort Simpson resident is among dozens of Canadians who are already in Australia to help battle wildfires.
Raelene Lamalice of Hay River, Resource Unit Leader
– Spencer Porter, of Fort Smith, Air Tanker Base Manager
Tanya Letcher is there but it’s not entirely clear which part of Australia she’s been posted to or exactly what her role is.
According to her Linkedin internet account, Tanya is a Wildfire Training Specialist at the Alberta government’s Environment and Sustainable Resource Development branch.
She also once worked for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) with the Government of the Northwest Territories.
We’ve been endeavouring to speak with her but without success so far.
She has posted a photo of herself on Facebook with a koala bear.
The iconic species has been devastated be the fires.