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More than 200 firefighters from South Africa have finished their deployment in British Columbia.
The 215 firefighters were instrumental to wildfire suppression efforts in northern BC and on Thursday, they finished their tour of duty.
Before they left, however, they treated their colleagues to a display of traditional song and dance in honour of South African Heritage Day, which is on Sunday.
On Sept. 21, they ended the deployment and welcomed members of BCWS, @ONresources , the @forestservice, @BureauIndAffrs, Emergency Management and Climate Readines and media with a display of cultural heritage and traditional song and dance in honour of South African Heritage Day. pic.twitter.com/NK6wrURX4q— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) September 22, 2023
The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) says it was a thank you from those firefighters for the hospitality provided during their stay in our province.
It put on full display the sense of community among firefighters who are fighting night and day to keep our province safe during a historically bad wildfire season.
Members of the United States incident management team and the Prince George Fire Centre’s information team, including staff from Ontario, even had a chance to join in on the fun.
Three countries. Six organizations dedicated to public safety. Over 200 individuals coming together (in one photo) with one goal: Deliver effective wildfire management and emergency response support. pic.twitter.com/zqsd9VwnfN— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) September 22, 2023
“To conclude the evening, the US incident commander was invited to release the firefighters from duty and send them home,” explained the BCWS.
“Immense thanks to our new friends for their support and sharing their culture. Have a safe journey home!”
South Africa is one of many countries that sent firefighters to BC in the height of this summer’s wildfire season.
BC also welcomed in much-needed resources from Australia, New Zealand, France, the US, Costa Rica, Chile, Spain, Portugal, the US and other parts of Canada.