News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

August 11, 2021

FIREFIGHTERS FROM SOUTH AFRICA WILL HELP BATTLE MANITOBA WILDFIRES

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Pandemic Protocols Will Be Followed

Today the Manitoba Wildfire Service (MWS), Manitoba Conservation and Climate, will be welcoming over 100 South African firefighters along with their support staff to help battle Manitoba wildfires.

The South African contingent joins over 400 Manitoba firefighters, as well as resources from across Canada deployed to aid in fire suppression. Manitoba’s six water bombers have been supplemented with two aircraft from Quebec, four from the Northwest Territories plus over two dozen helicopters to assist in fire suppression efforts.

The South African contingent of firefighters has been arranged by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). CIFFC is a not-for-profit corporation owned and operated by federal, provincial and territorial wildland fire management agencies to coordinate resource sharing, mutual aid and information sharing.

Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization has been working collaboratively with the MWS to ensure COVID-19 protocols are met. In accordance with federal regulations, the contingent was tested for COVID-19 prior to their departure from South Africa. Upon arrival in Winnipeg by charter flight, they will be tested again. Strict COVID-19 protocols, including ongoing rapid testing, will be in place for the duration of their deployment. COVID-19 immunizations will be available to the firefighters.  

Recent rainfalls across the province will help ground crews in ongoing fire suppression efforts.  Manitoba has currently 143 active wildfires burning across the province. To date, Manitoba has had 431 wildfires this year and the average for this time is 370 wildfires.

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