Friday, June 2, 2023

Canadian firefighters support Bathurst’s forestry bushfire season: FCNSW

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Forestry Corporation of NSW, Media Release, 21 December 2022

Forestry Corporation of NSW has welcomed five international recruits to its 2022 Bathurst seasonal program, with firefighters coming from Canada and New Zealand to join local recruits and support the organisation leading into bushfire season.

Canada is particularly well represented, with four recruits making the 17 hour flight to Australia to join the team this year.

The two countries share many similarities, however there have been a few hurdles to overcome, reports new Canadian recruit Ty Davis.

“Aussie slang is definitely a thing and it’s taken a little while to decode,” Mr Davis jokes.

“Once we got past that though, the experience has been really great and it’s been awesome working with the Sunny Corner depot team.”

The seasonal program is an opportunity for Ty and the other recruits to travel to Australia and extend their firefighting experience.

During the Canadian summer he works with Alberta Wildfire on a seven month contract, allowing him the chance to travel to Australia and work in Forestry Corporation’s seasonal program in their winter.

“I heard a couple of the guys I work with mention Forestry Corporation’s seasonal program and how great it is, plus I always wanted to travel to Australia,” Mr Davis said.

“So I applied and eight days later I was in Bathurst — it’s been fantastic meeting my team and experiencing the Australian culture. Canadians have a reputation for being super nice, but Aussies definitely deserve this too.”

Fellow Canadian Krista Lagasse also travelled to join Forestry Corporation’s seasonal program and is based in Orange.

“Everyone has been super helpful and willing to help us settle in,” Ms Lagasse said.

“I work as a firefighter in Alberta and Ontario back home, so this has been a great opportunity to travel the world and do the job I love at the same time.”

Ty and Krista highlight the variety of staff working in the organisation’s seasonal firefighting program, with most staff locally recruited to extend Forestry Corporation’s firefighting capacity in bushfire season, said Fire & Stewardship Supervisor Dave Anderson.

“Our seasonal workforce is a valued and essential part of our firefighting capacity,” Mr Anderson said.

“We have four Canadian seasonal firefighters here this year — they recently had their first experience of a eucalypt fire in a hazard reduction burn in Sunny Corner State Forest.

“We work hard to build a diverse and skilled seasonal team — people like Ty, Krista, Jess and Brandon are an essential part of our defence against bushfires.”

Forestry Corporation is responsible for preventing and managing fires in two million hectares of State forests across NSW. It also assists with large bushfires on private property and other bushland in Australia and also overseas.

The organisation recruits its seasonal firefighting force in early spring each year. To find out more, visit


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