Fire­fighter takes on Canadian bush­fires

Alpine Observer - - News - By VANESSA BURGESS

A LO­CAL Myrtle­ford res­i­dent was de­ployed to Canada to help fight large fires rag­ing across the coun­try side last week.

Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning safety of­fi­cer Tracy Cul­hane, de­parted Aus­tralia on July 18, along­side nine other per­son­nel from For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria (FFMVic) and will take on a spe­cial­ist role dur­ing his po­ten­tial 42 day stay.

Made up of staff from DELWP and Parks Vic­to­ria, FFMVic per­son­nel will pro­vide much needed sup­port to lo­cal crews bat­tling fires which have al­ready de­stroyed more than 130,000 hectares.

Three CFA of­fi­cers have also joined the Vic­to­rian crew.

FFMVic chief fire of­fi­cer Stephanie Ro­tarangi said the team would pro­vide much needed as­sis­tance to the Canadian au­thor­i­ties who are bat­tling Bri­tish Colom­bia fires which have al­ready caused the evac­u­a­tion of more than 30,000 peo­ple.

“Our skilled staff are among the best in the world and I’m proud we can con­trib­ute to this in­ter­na­tional ef­fort,” she said.

“I wish all of our crews the best of luck and of­fer them my thanks on be­half of all Vic­to­ri­ans.”

Aus­tralian per­son­nel were de­ployed to Bri­tish Colom­bia to as­sist with fire­fight­ing ef­forts in 2009 and 2014.

Tracy Cul­hane dur­ing the morn­ing fire brief­ing.

A BOOST in fund­ing is set to help Alpine Health im­prove ser­vice de­liv­ery across the Alpine Shire.

State Govern­ment MP Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) con­firmed last week, Alpine Health has been al­lo­cated $13.949 mil­lion – up by $446,000, or 3.4 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

Ms Symes said the fund­ing in­crease is part of a record $18.12 bil­lion statewide spend over the next year, which will sup­port hos­pi­tals to meet de­mand so pa­tients can ac­cess the care they need and de­serve, more quickly and closer to home.

“This record boost means bet­ter hos­pi­tals and ef­fi­cient

THE MAN FOR THE JOB: Mr Cul­hane’s ex­ten­sive fire safety knowl­edge will prove in­valu­able as Cana­di­ans’ bat­tle out of con­trol blazes. He is pic­tured here dur­ing the morn­ing brief­ing.

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