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Department of Primary Industries:
NRE Is A "Fighting Force" On Public Land

DNRE responsible for the management of wildfire in the State’s parks and forests

By DNRE - 19th November 2002 - Back to News

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The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) is responsible for the management of wildfire in the State’s parks and forests.

The Department’s Fire Management Program coordinates fire prevention, preparedness and suppression on public land. NRE staff also work closely with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to control fires that occur on the interface between public and private land.

"NRE is recognised nationally and internationally in the field of bushfire management and continues to be an innovator in its approach to the use of technology and equipment in firefighting, and maintains a strong strategic approach to the fire-related training of its park and forest staff," Gippsland NRE Fire Manager, David Tainsh said.

Mr Tainsh said that approximately 2000 NRE and Parks Victoria staff from a range of disciplines were trained as firefighters across the state.

"NRE in Gippsland has recruited and trained 180 Project Fire Fighters (PFFs) since September to support the Department’s permanent specialised firefighters in the region. These personnel will be deployed around the region in the event of fires on public land", he said.

Mr Tainsh explained that the PFFs were trained to use a variety of equipment to fight fires depending on the size and severity of the situation.

He said the equipment ranged from tankers and ‘slip-on units’ (four wheel drives equipped with water tank and pump) on the ground, to spotter aircraft and helicopters with Rappell crews in the air.

" Rakehoe crews and bulldozers can create fire breaks for ‘dry’ fire fighting, while the large helicopters have water bombing capabilities to attack the worst fires," Mr Tainsh said.

Mr Tainsh said that more PFFs than ever have been recruited and trained this year in the lead up to the expected seasonal conditions and risk of fires.

"We have committed a huge amount of resources to protecting property and the environment. We are also depending on landholders and the general public to exercise care and common sense while we are in a Fire Danger Period, to minimise the risks of fires and to alert the CFA and NRE to any suspicion of a fire."

Meantime, the public are reminded that fire restrictions are already in force in the Wellington and East Gippsland municipalities and will come into force in City of Latrobe on December 2, 2002.


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