Two Saskatchewan-based firefighters are home after fighting raging fires in Australia the past month.
Kevin Buetner and Phane Ray, wild-land firefighters with the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, landed at the Saskatoon airport Thursday evening. The pair was part of a group of 11 that were deployed to Australia in early December.
Ray, a Forest Protection Officer, says the fires are something he’ll never forget.
“The amount of people losing homes, the loss of life, it’s affecting people right across the country,” he said at the airport. “That’s a big thing, and it leaves a mark on us.”
The nine other members of the Public Safety Agency remain in Australia. In total, nearly 100 Canadian fire experts have been sent to the country to help support crews. Ottawa has offered further help, as the fires show no signs of letting up.