Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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South Africa: South Africa Firefighters Arrive Back From Canada As a Third Team Prepares to Head for Quebec

Canada’s wildfires show no sign of letting up and the country has asked South Africa to send more firefighters to help battle the blazes. Two South African teams have already shown they have what it takes to quell fires that have already displaced 5,000 people.

Mzanzi One, the first team of South African firefighters to arrive in Canada in early June, flew out of Edmonton on Saturday night and were due back in Mpumalanga on Sunday evening.

Speaking to Daily Maverick before boarding the flight home, Trevor Abrahams, managing director of Working on Fire, confirmed that 214 officers were being relieved by a third team, who would depart for Quebec in a week’s time.

Abrahams said fires in Alberta had heated up again and Mzansi Two was already in the field, fighting flames.

Abrahams said the situation was conducive for fire partly because of “crossover conditions”, created by low humidity and high temperatures. Low moisture content of the air and hotter air meant “burning conditions will become more intense“.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Canadian ministers and officials said 648 fires were still burning, with 339 fires “designated as burning out of control”. Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair released the latest fire forecast, which he said, “… outlines a high likelihood of heightened fire activity through the next two months … In July most of Canada from British Columbia through to the north, through to the Prairies and across the country to…

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