- Contingent included experts in forest fire management, fire behaviour and aerial firefighting
Nine Western Australian firefighters returned home today after five weeks helping crews battle bushfires burning across the north-west of the United States.
The contingent fulfilled specialist field-based and leadership roles, including taskforce leaders, divisional supervisors, airbase managers, safety officers and strike force leaders.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Department of Parks and Wildlife firefighters did a commendable job helping with the enormous task of battling the raging fires across California, Oregon and Washington State.
"The enhanced skills and knowledge the firefighters have gained from their deployment to the US will prove invaluable as we head into what is expected to be a tough bushfire season here," Mr Francis said.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said Western Australian firefighters had a wealth of experience in fire management and suppression and had made a significant contribution.
"I am extremely proud of the role firefighters played in helping American crews tackle bushfires sweeping the country," Mr Jacob said.
The bushfires in the US have burnt 3.5 million hectares nationwide, and in the north-west region more than 3,700 fires have burnt more than 400,000ha this year.
After a well-earned rest, the firefighters will begin preparations for the Western Australian bushfire season. The community is reminded to prepare themselves, their families and their homes for bushfires.
For information on how to prepare for a bushfire, visit: http://areyouready.wa.gov.au/
- Four Department of Parks and Wildlife and five Department of Fire and Emergency Services firefighters were part of a 72-strong contingent from Australia and New Zealand
- In July, 12 officers assisted Canadian fire crews to battle dozens of bushfires threatening communities across western Canada
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6500
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800