Off to the big smoke: Brett's heading to Canada to fight fires

DEPLOYED: Canobolas Zone Rural Fire Service operations manager Brett Bowden is in Canada providing expert advice on how to deal with one of the worst fire seasons the country has experienced. 
Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER 1001lsrfs

DEPLOYED: Canobolas Zone Rural Fire Service operations manager Brett Bowden is in Canada providing expert advice on how to deal with one of the worst fire seasons the country has experienced. Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER 1001lsrfs

BUSHFIRES ripping through Canada have been described as similar to those experienced in Victorian summers and one of our own has been sent to help defeat them. 

Canobolas Zone Rural Fire Service (RFS) operations manager Brett Bowden answered the call to assist Canadian crews contain the blazes which have destroyed homes and forced oil companies to shut down.

But back on the home front, Mr Bowden’s wife Cathy is brimming with pride.

“He is very talented ... of course you don’t want them to go and it is a long way away and a long time away, five weeks, but yes I am very proud of him,” she said. 

The Bowdens received the request through the RFS on Wednesday and three days later, Mr Bowden was on a plane. 

“It’s a fantastic opportunity,” she said. 

This is the first time Mr Bowden has used his skills overseas but because her husband is on logistics and not the fire front, Mrs Bowden is not too worried about him. 

The Canadian Wildfire Management Branch has responded to almost 1000 wildfires so far this season and the hot and dry conditions are set to continue.

Up to 80 Australian emergency services personnel have answered the call to assist in Canada.

Canobolas Zone Superintendent David Hoadley said Mr Bowden was specifically requested because of his vast experience in operations. 

“He has skills across the whole range of incident management,” he said.

“We’re very proud.”

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