Working on Fire triumphs at KMI Airport
These WOF firefighters returned to South Africa as heroes after a month of fighting wildfires in Canada.
200 firefighters and 14 management personnel arrived at KMI Airport around 20:00 on Sunday, July 9, to a hero's welcome.
Canadian and WOF firefighters battled large flames. Their dedication and 24/7 work ethic were lauded.
“Their dedication, firefighting skills, and positivity earned them widespread recognition and gratitude from Canadian authorities and the local communities they served.
The team demonstrated WOF principles including professionalism, selflessness, accountability, teamwork, excellence, and adaptability.
Rieaz Shaik, South Africa's high commissioner to Canada, claimed they helped Albertans.
While fighting fires with Canadian and other multinational teams, he said SA firefighters learned wildfire management strategies.
Techniques, and best practices. Global firefighting relies on South Africa's WOF program.
Training and hiring poor youth lessens wildfire damage and changes lives.
This deployment demonstrated the WOF-Kishugu Joint Venture's extensive fire management competence.
Shaik said, "It also stressed the need for international cooperation to address climate change and global warming."
During the worst wildfire season ever, a second WOF contingent would stay in Canada for two weeks.
This fire season was very catastrophic, with 8.5 million hectares burned and 3,375 fires, compared to Alberta's normal of 484 000ha and 796 fires.
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