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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 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 called upon to provide assistance such as grading fire breaks and access tracks, or carting water to fire fronts,” Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.

“The training provided by RFS officers is extremely valuable to ensure our staff can provide this assistance safety and as effectively as possible.

“The RFS does an incredible job protecting our region and assisting our residents during times of emergency, so Council is happy we can help in some way.”

This week’s training followed at 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.”


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