Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has issued the following statement in response to the Jan. 23, 2020, crash of a firefighting aircraft in New South Wales, Australia.
“Shortly before 1:30 p.m. – local Australian time – on Jan. 23, 2020, Australian wildfire officials lost contact with a C-130 airtanker operated by B.C.-based Coulson Aviation, which was assisting with firefighting activities in the Snowy Monaro area of New South Wales.
“On board were three American citizens, who did not survive the crash. No Canadian personnel were on the aircraft.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of everyone involved in this incident. On behalf of all British Columbians, I extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the flight crew and to the staff of Coulson Aviation.
“The international firefighting community has rallied this year to help Australia during its catastrophic fire season. So far, 45 BC Wildfire Service staff have been deployed to Australia as part of the contingent of 172 Canadian firefighting personnel.
"We will continue to respond to requests for assistance from our Australian friends during their extremely challenging fire season.”