Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford today (Wednesday) applauded the “tremendous ongoing effort” of QFES personnel – battling bushfires in Queensland, and in the United States and Canada.
Mr Crawford said hundreds of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) staff and volunteers had been “kept busy” dealing with more than a thousand vegetation fires across the state in just the past week.
“Through their hard work and dedication, they have managed to maintain the upper hand in the bushfire battle being waged in Queensland,” Mr Crawford said.
Mr Crawford also praised the work being undertaken by 13 QFES personnel involved in the international emergency response to devastating wildfires in the US and Canada.
Eleven QFES representatives were among fire specialists from across Australia and New Zealand who left for the US West Coast earlier this month to assist with the firefighting effort.
Another two highly-trained QFES personnel have deployed to Canada, joining an international contingent of fire specialists fighting wildfires in British Columbia.
“As you would expect, these QFES personnel have been working hard - with those deployed in the US due to complete their ten-day shifts in hot spots including the massive Mendocino Complex Fire, where tragically an American firefighter was killed.
“QFES is maintaining close contact with overseas agencies to ensure the families of the Queensland personnel are kept well-informed on their activities.”
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll praised the efforts of personnel working tirelessly both on overseas deployment and home soil.
“Our crews, whether battling blazes in Queensland or working with our counterparts in the US and Canada, have been confronted with challenging conditions,” Ms Carroll said.
“QFES prides itself on the high level of training we provide our firefighters, and this has been evident in their efforts during recent weeks.
“While they are doing a terrific job, unfortunately that job isn’t over yet.
“Our deployed staff are faced with an evolving situation in difficult terrain, while at home we’re expecting to see very little change in current fire weather conditions in the coming weeks.
“However, our personnel are more than up to the task and I thank them for their efforts so far in supporting and protecting communities both here and abroad.”
Mr Crawford said the international deployments “are something QFES carefully plans for in an operational sense – ensuring our specialist resources are maintained when these firefighters are sent overseas”.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford