British Columbia, Australian state of Victoria sign MOU for knowledge exchange between wildland firefighters, renew 2007 MOU on emergency resource-sharing

VICTORIA, British Columbia , September 15, 2011 (press release) – B.C. and Australian wildland firefighters will get a chance to learn from each other under a mutual-aid agreement signed by British Columbia and the State of Victoria.

The new memorandum of understanding includes a learning and exchange program to promote the sharing of wildfire fighting techniques and technologies. It also renews a 2007 MOU for personnel and resource-sharing during times of emergency.

In 2007, B.C. sent 52 wildfire specialists to Victoria State to help fight fires that burned more than one million hectares. Another nine B.C. personnel were deployed to Victoria in 2009 to battle the catastrophic "Black Saturday" bushfires that claimed 173 lives. Victoria State firefighters were also in B.C. that year to help local crews during one of the province's busiest fire seasons.

Quick Facts:

B.C. and the State of Victoria are home to some of the most wildfire prone regions in the world.
Opposite fire seasons in B.C. and Australia make it easy to exchange resources.
B.C. wildfire fighters can battle fires anywhere in the world due to their training on varied terrain, from the province's coastal rainforests to desert-like conditions in the Interior.

Learn More:

B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch is internationally recognized for its expertise, highly trained personnel and innovative use of technology. Learn more about its contributions to the global wildfire community: http://bcwildfire.ca/AboutUs/International/

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