WA firefighters to relieve exhausted US crews

Firefighters Tim Hutton, Luke Bentley, John Fishwick, Peter Bamess, Beverly Gardiner and Leigh Sage at Perth Airport this morning.
Firefighters Tim Hutton, Luke Bentley, John Fishwick, Peter Bamess, Beverly Gardiner and Leigh Sage at Perth Airport this morning.

SIX Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions have departed overseas to relieve exhausted American crews battling large fires burning across the north-west of the nation.

Luke Bentley, Peter Bamess, John Fishwick, Tim Hutton, Leigh Sage and Beverly Gardiner will be part of an 180-strong Australian and NZ contingent sent to help with fire control.

The officers are highly skilled and experienced in a variety of incident management roles, including planning, logistics and operations.

The deployment has been facilitated through an agreement between the US National Multi-Agency Coordination Group and the Australian National Interagency Fire Centre, with resources being managed via the National Resource Sharing Centre and Emergency Management Victoria.

The officers will join the Australian contingent in Sydney before departing to parts of the US for up to six weeks.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the firefighters would play a vital role in helping to relieve exhausted American crews who had been battling the fires for a month.