The fourth group of South African firefighters, consisting of 215 members from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment’s Working on Fire Programme, returns to South Africa following their successful deployment to the Province of British Columbia, Canada, where they played a vital role in firefighting efforts against wildfires during the past month.
**Arrival Details: **
- Date: Monday, 25 September 2023
- Time: 11:55 AM
- Location: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Mbombela
These dedicated firefighters were deployed to British Columbia on August 25, 2023, as part of a larger contingent of 860 South African firefighters and management. They provided assistance to Canadian firefighting authorities in Alberta, Northwest Territories, and British Columbia since the beginning of June 2023.
Working on Fire has executed four deployments since June 2023, totalling 860 firefighters and management personnel, to Canada during one of the most severe wildfire seasons in history. Canada has recorded more than 6,330 fires this year, resulting in the destruction of over 17 million hectares of land.
The deployment of South African wildland firefighters to Canada was a response to a request for assistance from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) based on the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Canada and South Africa in 2019. This MOU allows for the exchange of wildland fire management resources between the two countries.
Members of the media are invited to attend the arrival of our South African firefighters as well as the Welcoming Ceremony which will be held at the Kishugu Training Academy in Mbombela shortly after their arrival and once they have cleared through Customs.