Firefighter Brent King returns from battling blazes in Canada

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TAMWORTH firefighter Brent King has returned to Australia after helping to battle the Canada wildfires. Having been there before in 2017, he attended this time as a divisional supervisor, and helped control a truly enormous fire. The White Rock Lake fire in British Columbia peaked at more than 81,000 hectares, but has now been held, which Mr King described as a big win. Many firefighters from throughout Australia have been lending a hand, which he explained is necessary given the severity of the blazes being faced by the Canadians. “Over there it was quite a big past, they were experiencing weather conditions like we’d seen in our 2019-2020 season with drought factors and the sheer number of fires they had going at one time,” he said. “Obviously there’s issues with resourcing and trying to have enough people in the field.” READ ALSO: Mr King was over there for nearly five weeks, working relentlessly on a 14 days on, two days off roster, with each shift lasting 14 to 16 hours. After all that hard work, he admitted it’s taking some time to re-adjust. “I’m still stuck in the same routine time-wise, still waking up at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, but I’m slowly starting to get the body clock to reset,” he said. Mr King joked that while the basics are the same in Canada – in the sense they fight fire with water – but said there are some differences in the way they do things, and the terminology. While trying to wrap his head around those differences himself, a large part of his role was to pass wisdom onto others, which he said was a rewarding experience. “There was a lot of learning but a lot of teachings at the same time, so I learnt a lot but also got to teach a fair bit while I was over there,” he said. “Had some wins, which was also a good thing, and I’m now hearing the fire I was working on is in the held stage, which is a really good accomplishment for a large fire.” Mr King wasn’t the only local to make his way to North America for the efforts though, with Heath Simpson and Allen Madden also making the journey. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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TAMWORTH firefighter Brent King has returned to Australia after helping to battle the Canada wildfires.

Having been there before in 2017, he attended this time as a divisional supervisor, and helped control a truly enormous fire.

The White Rock Lake fire in British Columbia peaked at more than 81,000 hectares, but has now been held, which Mr King described as a big win.

Many firefighters from throughout Australia have been lending a hand, which he explained is necessary given the severity of the blazes being faced by the Canadians.

“Over there it was quite a big past, they were experiencing weather conditions like we’d seen in our 2019-2020 season with drought factors and the sheer number of fires they had going at one time,” he said.

“Obviously there’s issues with resourcing and trying to have enough people in the field.”

Mr King was over there for nearly five weeks, working relentlessly on a 14 days on, two days off roster, with each shift lasting 14 to 16 hours. After all that hard work, he admitted it’s taking some time to re-adjust.

“I’m still stuck in the same routine time-wise, still waking up at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, but I’m slowly starting to get the body clock to reset,” he said.

Mr King joked that while the basics are the same in Canada – in the sense they fight fire with water – but said there are some differences in the way they do things, and the terminology.

While trying to wrap his head around those differences himself, a large part of his role was to pass wisdom onto others, which he said was a rewarding experience.

“There was a lot of learning but a lot of teachings at the same time, so I learnt a lot but also got to teach a fair bit while I was over there,” he said.

“Had some wins, which was also a good thing, and I’m now hearing the fire I was working on is in the held stage, which is a really good accomplishment for a large fire.”

Mr King wasn’t the only local to make his way to North America for the efforts though, with Heath Simpson and Allen Madden also making the journey.

Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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