Crews get fire-ready ahead of fire danger season

News article |

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke regional staff will undertake a three-day annual training course to ensure they are fully prepared for the upcoming fire-danger season.

The training course at Port Hughes from September 16-18 will see 60 staff undergo training, and NRM regional fire management officer Stuart Beinke says the refresher course will ensure all staff are trained and ready to go ahead of the summer.

"It’s an exercise where we go through a variety of fire fighting theory and practice to ensure that our staff are fully prepared for the fire season," Mr Beinke says.

"The training covers basic theory and operational practice for the fire season.

"We undergo this training every year to ensure we’re ready for the work we do in both prescribed burns and in fire-fighting.

"As well as the theory and practical training, staff also undergo medical and fitness checks to ensure everyone is fit and ready to go for the fire-danger season."

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) has 35 trained fire fighters – 12 who have dedicated fire management roles, while the remainder are trained in fire operations but also work in other roles. This year about twenty-five South Australian Arid Lands staff will also undertake the fire training with NRNY.

The Northern and Yorke regional crew is equipped with three large fire trucks and six small fire-fighting appliances based in areas of greatest fire risk including the Southern Flinders, Mid North and Yorke Peninsula. This is part of a statewide fleet of firefighting vehicles.

The crews are part of the Country Fire Service structure, but are a dedicated regional brigade who respond to fires on government-owned land such as national parks, SA Water and forestry land.

Their specialist training means they are also called on to respond to other fires, such as the Sampson Flat bushfire.

"We work very closely with the CFS," Mr Beinke says.

"We have a specialist capacity for working in difficult terrain and because we have a fleet of Landcruiser based firefighting vehicles that are manouevrable and designed for working in heavily vegetated, hilly areas, our expertise is sometimes called on to assist outside of national parks."

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