Forty-nine Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula staff have just completed more than 880 hours of pre-season fire training in readiness for the 2015-16 fire danger season.
Further training in South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) courses will be undertaken throughout the winter period to up-skill staff in both fire-ground and incident management roles.
Fire Management Officer Niall Stephen says the region is fortunate to have a breadth of experienced firefighters to draw on, including some veterans of more than 20 years who have fought fires across the country and internationally.
“As well as our experienced veterans, every year we also work to bring in new firefighters,” Mr Stephen said.
“As part of our yearly fire preparedness staff have completed safety and fire-fighting drills, tactical planning sessions and fitness testing. Our training and fleet of fire vehicles is specifically designed around remote area firefighting in heavy scrub.
“Many people don’t realise Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) fire crews are actually a CFS Brigade and every year we work alongside outstanding Volunteer Fire Fighters to help protect communities and the environment.
The Eyre Peninsula has nine seasonal Fire Fighters and a range of equipment funded by SA Water and DEWNR dedicated to the prescribed burning program and emergency fire response.
Specialist Firefighting vehicles range from a Caterpillar track loader with a hydraulic turbine blower (similar to a supersized version of a leaf blower) though to large fire trucks capable of carrying 3,000 litres of water and smaller quick response vehicles which carry 400-600 litres.
“This specialised equipment positions us well to safely and efficiently conduct both prescribed burns and respond to bushfires,” Mr Stephen said.
“In the lead up to summer we reiterate the CFS message to property owners and tourists - Be prepared, have a Bushfire Survival Plan and practice it.”