Local Forestry Corporation firefighters gear up for fire season

Local firefighters were put through their paces last week, being tested on their practical skills and physical fitness at Forestry Corporation of NSW’s pre-season fire day held at Bombala.

Forestry Corporation is bolstering its firefighting capabilities across the state in preparation for the official start of the fire season.
Cameron Wade, Forestry Corporation’s Fire Management Officer, said it was important all firefighting staff understood the heightened risks presented by the hot and dry conditions that are a feature of summer in New South Wales.

“Everyone, from Forestry Corporation’s most experienced firefighters to our latest recruits, can help protect our forests in an emergency,” he said.

Hugh Stephen, Forestry Corporation’s Fire and Stewardship Supervisor at Bombala, said he was pleased to welcome new seasonal recruits from the local area, Ben Lomas, Ryan Simpson, and Bailey Jones, along with another new recruit from Queensland, Tom Franz, and seasonal firefighters returning from last year.

"We’re looking forward to seeing these new recruits join Forestry Corporation’s experienced fire crews and put their training to good use protecting our state forests. These trained firefighters are on standby in the local area, ensuring we can get extra firefighters to the fire front if a wildfire breaks out,” he said.

Forestry Corporation is responsible for preventing and managing fires in two million hectares of state forests across New South Wales. It also assists with large bushfires on private property and other bushland in Australia and also overseas.

Forestry Corporation spends the cooler months of the year preparing roads and fire trails, completing hazard reduction burns, and upgrading its equipment to reduce the risk of fire and ensure its crews are well prepared heading into summer.

“As we approach fire season, we hold fire training days like this to make sure everyone is fit and ready to respond to an emergency, Mr Stephen said.

“That’s why we bring our forest firefighters together to refresh and improve their practical skills, test their fitness and put all them through their paces in realistic emergency scenarios.”

Forestry Corporation’s pre-season fire days are part of a rigorous training program, which includes training camps for new firefighters and those looking to advance their skills.

To find out more about Forestry Corporation’s fire training and becoming a seasonal recruit, view the video at https://youtu.be/VoWU284o8EA or visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au

Media contact: Amanda McLeod 9407 4265 / 0408 779 903