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South African firefighters help fight wildfires in Canada

South African firefighters sign a flag given to them by Canadian firefighters in Fox Creek, Alberta, on Tuesday, July 4, 2023   -  
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Noah Berger/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


A group of South African firefighters has been deployed to Canada to help fight widespread wildfires raging across the country.

The firefighters start the day with a traditional dance before being deployed to the areas at risk.

“We’ve met a lot of firefighters, Australian firefighters, Canadian firefighters. It’s really nice to work with them”, (...) "The fires from Canada are totally different from South African fires. Mainly, the underground fires, they are not familiar with us. We are still acclimatizing with all those diggings because in South Africa we normally find the fires on the ground”, said South African firefighter, Thuto Ganya.

According to Canadian officials, it is the nation’s worst wildfire season ever and they expect air quality to remain a concern throughout the summer, as long as the fires continue.

Canada has already broken its own record for area burned. Nearly every province in Canada has fires burning.

Local resident, Carrol Johnston, lost everything last May.

“He said it was kind of like a fireball that dropped on the house and it just, it just kind of imploded. They couldn’t do nothing except for, get the heck out of here because it was just burning so hot and fast, eh?. So there went our home. There went everything we owned”, she said.

According to the American space agency, NASA, satellite imagery from Monday showed smoke extending across the North Atlantic Ocean to the Iberian Peninsula, France and other parts of western Europe.

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