26 casuals boost Forestry Corporation firefighting numbers

Forestry Corporation will again be employing seasonal casuals to boost firefighting numbers in and around its plantations in the Bathurst, Orange, Oberon and Lithgow areas.

Twenty-six casual firefighters start today (Monday 14 November).

Regional manager Dean Anderson said Forestry Corporation has been through the process of looking for fit, capable people who are interested in an outdoor job.

‘Twenty of these people will be part of our on-ground fire-fighting force. We also employ six fire tower operators,’ he said.

‘First off the fieldworkers will receive intensive fire-fighting training including use of fire tankers, fire fighting slip-on units for vehicles, four-wheel-drives, chainsaws and first-aid.

‘They will be trained and ready to respond at short notice to any fires that start in or near the plantations.’

Mr Anderson said that while not fighting fires, the majority of the casual firefighters’ time would be spent maintaining Forestry Corporation fire trails and removing weeds within the forest.

‘These people gain valuable experience and skills during the summer with us, and later take these skills into the wider community and workforce,’ he said.

‘Five seasonal fieldworkers from recent years have gained full-time employment with Forestry Corporation. One at Taree, one at Baradine, one at Moss Vale and two locally.’

Mr Anderson said the additional staff would complement Forestry Corporation permanent work force who are highly skilled and experienced fire fighters.

‘This firefighting and fire spotting workforce combined with the organisation’s specialised fire fighting machinery and lightning detection technology will ensure the central tablelands is well equipped to protect life, property and the State’s valuable softwood resource.

‘Forestry Corporation 68 000 hectares of softwood plantation in the central tablelands supports approximately 940 people in the growing and manufacturing of timber,’ he said.

Media contact: Sarah Chester on 02 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669.