SYDNEY, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A team of 48 firefighters have been deployed to British Columbia State on Wednesday, to assist Canadian emergency services who have been battling 160 out of control wildfires for a number of weeks.
With more than 40,000 people already evacuated from their homes in the devastated region, the formal request for help was met with great support from Aussie firefighters.
"New South Wales (NSW) fire agencies have a longstanding tradition of helping out our fellow firefighters, no matter where they are, and we are pleased to be offering this support to the Canadian Fire Services." NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons explained in a statement.
NSW emergency services minister Troy Grant also echoed these sentiments.
"NSW always stands ready to lend our friends overseas a helping hand in their time of need," Grant said.
The Australian task force's role during their North American excursion will be to fill specialist positions including incident control, operations, public information, logistics, aviation and fire behavior analysis, Fitzsimmons said.
They are expected to return to Australia in six weeks time.