Our firies lending a hand battling blazes in Canada

HOMEGROWN fire experts continue to lead the charge on battling fires in Canada.

Challenging work: Ballarat CFA air attack supervisor Wayne Rigg is currently in Canada with a team from Ballarat battling some of the 162 fires burning across British Columbia.

Challenging work: Ballarat CFA air attack supervisor Wayne Rigg is currently in Canada with a team from Ballarat battling some of the 162 fires burning across British Columbia.

Ballarat CFA and Department of Environment and Primary Industries officers arrived in British Columbia at the start of the month where dozens of major fires are burning out of control.

Ballarat CFA air attack supervisor Wayne Rigg, who is responsible for co-ordinating aerial water drops, has been joined by CFA logistics member Sherene Mounier, CFA situation unit leader Michael Boatman and SES officer Brad Jew, all from Ballarat.

They are part of a team battling fires in Houston, British Columbia, and are working 14 days at a time.

A challenging week is ahead for the team, with warm and windy conditions forecast for the next five days.

However, they may be met with relief at the weekend when temperatures are expected to fall.

There are currently 162 fires burning across British Columbia, with at least eight new fires since Sunday.

Conditions in the north of the province – where the Ballarat team is based – remain much drier than average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, incident controller and contingent commander Jon Rofe, from DEPI Ballarat, will head up a team at Prince George to battle a blaze at Mount McAllister.

More than 250 firefighters and support staff are assigned to the Mount McAllister fire which has burned 21,000 hectares.

Close to 30 per cent of this fire has been contained.

Mr Rofe will be joined by Ballarat DEPI divisional commanders Mark Urquhart and Glen Rudolph, helicopter co-ordinator Mike Forsyth and Jill Read.

david.jeans@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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