CANADA FACES SIMILAR WILDFIRE RISK TO AUSTRALIA, AS ALBERTA LAYS OFF SPECIALIST FIREFIGHTERS

"With heat waves and extended drought making Canada vulnerable to massive wildfires like the ones now sweeping Australia, Alberta has cut funding and jobs for about 63 specialized remote-region firefighters—and British Columbia is “poaching” some of them to join its own wildfire prevention and response team.


Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government dumped the firefighters, “who rappel from helicopters into remote locations to prevent fires from spreading and getting out of control,” in November, the Toronto Star reports. Then on December 17, “all members who were part of Alberta’s Wildland Firefighter Rappel Program (RAP) received a letter about how to apply directly to B.C.’s equivalent program: BCWS Rapattack.” It promised a streamlined application process for “candidates with previous wildfire rappel experience,” beginning in 2020."


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