Local firefighter’s battle blaze’s up north
Federation Support Brigade (Corowa) firefighters Lincoln Ash and Danny Webb are among 13 firefighters from right across the Southern Border Team who flew out from Albury to Grafton yesterday, where they will join the effort on the ground at the Long Gully fire at Drake in Northern NSW.
Two other officers have been sent to South East Queensland to assist with leading strike teams on the ground at fires in the Canungra area.
One Inspector has also been sent to Glen Innes to assist with the Incident Management Team managing fires in the Tenterfield area.
Along with Federation Support, the Southern Border Team includes members from Lavington, Finley, Walla Walla, Barooga, Berrigan, Glenellen, Coreen and Jingellic.
Group Captain of the Southern Border Team, Greyd’n Davis, said he was proud of the members that have volunteered their time to assist others that are experiencing destructive fires in both NSW and Queensland.
“The quick response has been commendable,” he told the Free Press.
“These people are leaving their families and jobs to assist with battling these fires which I think is incredibly compassionate.
“Thanks must also be in order for their employers which have allowed them to leave their full time work to pursue this.”
The majority of crews are going to deal with a significant fire in the Drake area that has burnt more than 32,000 hectares and has destroyed up to eight structures and damaged a further four, luckily more than 24 structures have been saved.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Southern Border Team has sent 16 firefighters and specialists to help the firefighting efforts in Northern NSW and South Eastern QLD, as blaze’s ravage parts of both states.
The crews will be dealing with very trying conditions with strong winds and a large fire ground to cover.
NSW RFS Supt. Patrick Westwood said “Our crews are all experienced and are to be commended for their willingness to go and help. It’s likely to be a very long season for these firefighters as we are only just into spring and our fire season is expected to continue until March/April 2020.
“Already this fire season we have seen more than 2,700 bush and grass fires across NSW.
“With the vast majority of NSW drought affected and a forecast of ongoing warm and dry conditions, there is the potential for a long and protracted fire season,” he said.
“As we move further into the spring Supt. Westwood recommended that everyone prepare themselves for the fire season.
“Get Ready Weekend is this weekend 1415 September and is a chance for border residents to do their bit to plan and prepare their family and properties for the fire season.”
Ten events will be held across the border including firefighting displays, opportunities to get on board a fire truck, seeing specialist firefighting equipment up close and having your picture taken with a firefighter.
“Volunteer firefighters will be available to talk about the simple things you can do to reduce your bush fire risk, like having a bush fire survival plan,” Supt Westwood said.
“Preparing for bush fires is easier than people may think. Have a five-minute conversation and ask yourself - when will you go, what will you take and where will you go?”
Captain Davis said the Southern Border Team is always looking for new members to come on board, particularly as we enter fire season.
“We’re always keen for more people to jump on board so contact the NSW RFS Southern Border Team if you’d like to get involved.”
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Federation Support Brigade firefighters have been sent to help fight fires in Northern NSW and South Eastern QLD. Pictured is Federation Support Brigade Captain Gary Reeve, Luke Doering, Lincoln Ash, Danny Webb, Nathan Cranston and Southern Border Team Captain Greyd’n Davis.