The Rural Fire Service and other agencies battling the Mt Kaputar National Park bushfire have drawn on resources from across NSW – and Queensland – for the duration of the firefightng operation.
The RFS headquarters – the Fire Control Centre -at the Narrabri Shire depot is a temporary home to personnel from many parts of the state who are rotated for service at the centre.
“We have people from all around NSW and also some from Queensland who have come to assist on a five day rotation,” said RFS public liaison officer Daniel Osborne, from Yass.
“Usually they travel for a day, are on the fire ground for three and then travel home on day five.
“They are engaged in the fire control centre, on the fireground and in aviation roles.
“And it is a multi agency response, with personnel from not only RFS and NPWS, NSW Fire and Rescue NSW, Forestry, SES, VRA – all have been represented at one point or another with this operation.”
There are a variety of roles being filled.
Forestry and NPWS has people ‘on the ground’ in various roles, fire fighting and in heavy plant management and also supporting the aviation component.
The Fire Control Centre, a well equipped facility, is the busy hub for firefighting co-ordination and strategies.
Last week there were more than 70 firefighters supported by more than 20 incident management personnel at the control centre.
They were supported by four aircraft, based at the Narrabri Air Base at the airport and nine units of heavy machinery.
There are many vehicles in Narrabri for the duration of the fire.
“Drivers bring them up for transport and the drivers were flown home and the vehicles will stay here until the fire operation is finished.
“It is a strategic relocation of resources, given that their home bases are not experiencing anywhere near the level of activity that this part of NSW is.”
The fire operation is a multi agency task.
“There is significant emergency management and fire fighting capability across NSW, which has significant resources available, and that is being used appropriately right across northern NSW,” said Daniel.
Typically heavy equipment, dozers and graders, are used to establish containment lines and allow ground crews to get access more safely and easily to the fireground where it can be done.
Other equipment can be used to deal with fire affected trees.