Training day helps Forestry Corporation prepare for fire

In preparation for the coming fire season, Forestry Corporation Hume Region will be conducting a fire-training day on Friday (19 December) from 8.30 am to 3 pm.

Forestry Corporation employees from the Tumut, Tumbarumba and Batlow areas will come together at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge to practise for the coming season.

Acting regional manager, Gavin Jeffries, said about 90 staff would be involved with equipment including large tankers and 30 light-striker units mounted on four-wheel-drive vehicles.

“It is vital that our staff and equipment are ready for the fire season,” he said.

“The day will be devoted to refreshing staff on fire ground safety, new equipment, map reading, fire weather and radio communications.”

Mr Jeffries said even though the fire season had been slow to start this year with good rainfall in November and December, Forestry Corporation wanted to be absolutely sure it was ready when it hit.

“An efficient and practised response to fires is essential to protect life and property each summer,” he said.

“As we saw during the dreadful fire season of 2003, Forestry Corporation preparedness and speed meant that we were able to limit the damage to the State’s pine plantations in the region to seven hectares.”

Mr Jeffries said 17 seasonal fieldworkers, who recently started work with Forestry Corporation, would be mixed with the organisation’s experienced firefighting workforce, in order for them to learn how it’s done in practise before facing the real thing later in the season.

Media contact: Charlie Taylor on (02) 6947 3911 OR 0428 692 017.

Photo opportunity at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge on Friday 19 December 9:15 am. Directions: Take Tumbarumba Road south from Batlow about 20km, about 5km past Laurel Hill Village, on the left. Alternatively, north from Tumbarumba, toward Batlow for about 15km, located on the right.

Photos available by contacting (02) 6036 2110.