Planting the seeds for bushfire cooperation
Bushfire fighting services in the region enlisted some valuable back-up this month, when they provided bushfire awareness training to Armidale Regional Council’s heavy vehicle operators.
Every plant operator in Council’s roads department completed the training so they are well prepared to help the NSW Rural Fire Service control major fires.
In the event of a significant bush fire, Council is often called upon to provide assistance such as grading fire breaks and access tracks, or carting water to fire fronts.
ARC Mayor Simon Murray said that training provided by RFS officers is extremely valuable to ensure staff can provide this assistance safety and as effectively as possible.
The training followed an early start to this summer’s Bush Fire Danger Period in the Armidale region and surrounding local government areas.
Extremely dry conditions have prompted the NSW Rural Fire Service to start the danger period on 1 August, rather than 1 October, for 10 local government areas in the State.
RFS Zone Manager Steve Mepham said this week’s course also provided training for plant operators from local private companies.
“While the local RFS has a strong team of officers and volunteers, trained back-up from other organisations is extremely welcome as we head into the bushfire danger period,” Mr Mepham said.
“The combined effects of the ongoing drought - incredibly dry conditions and a severe shortage of available water – mean this is shaping up to be a long and diabolical bushfire season.”