Lo­cal fire­fighter’s bat­tle blaze’s up north

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY RHYS WIL­LIAMS

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.”

02 6033 1856 or 02 6033 1899 ad­[email protected]­maclean.com 65 White­head St, Corowa NSW

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.

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