Top international firefighters visit the South Coast

Top officials from major U.S. and Canadian forest agencies will be in Batemans Bay on 19-20 April to gain an international perspective of fire management.

The seven firefighters are some of the most senior people in North America's forest agencies from the United States Forest Service, the US Bureau of Land Management and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Canada.

Hosted by Forestry Corporation, the Rural Fire Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the delegates will tour local forests, attend joint agency presentations and enjoy some local seafood.

“While they are here delegates will see that NSW leads the way in active fire prevention using an extensive regime of prescribed burning so firefighters have a better chance of containing wildfires,” Forestry Corporation Southern Region operations and protection manager, Julian Armstrong said.

“North American fire management has until recently focussed on putting the fires out. But as fires become more frequent and more intense their managers are looking to introduce prescribed burning to minimise the risks of a devastating wildfire destroying their forests.”

Mr Armstrong said that the South Coast was being showcased because of the area's strong history of co-operative fire management.

“Some of the most experienced and professional fire managers in the State are based in the Southern Region and the prescribed burning program and fire training is world class,” Mr Armstrong said.

Delegates have already visited New Zealand , Victoria and the ACT, and will travel to Sydney before leaving NSW to visit Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

“We have a great opportunity to show an international delegation that NSW fire agencies are second to none when it comes to actively preventing wildfires,” Mr Armstrong said.

Further information
Howard Spencer 02 66568800 or mobile 0428 696672