WA firefighters join efforts to battle NSW, Qld bushfires

A CFA Member works on controlled back burns along Putty Road. Crews are working hard to gain the upper hand after devastating fires tore through areas near Colo Heights. Bushfires from the Gospers Mountain bushfire continue to burn on November 14, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire following catastrophic fire conditions - the highest possible level of bushfire danger. While conditions have eased, fire crews remain on high alert as dozens of bushfires continue to burn. A state of emergency was declared by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday 11 November and is still in effect, giving emergency powers to Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and prohibiting fires across the state. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
A CFA Member works on controlled back burns along Putty Road. Crews are working hard to gain the upper hand after devastating fires tore through areas near Colo Heights. Bushfires from the Gospers Mountain bushfire continue to burn on November 14, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire following catastrophic fire conditions - the highest possible level of bushfire danger. While conditions have eased, fire crews remain on high alert as dozens of bushfires continue to burn. A state of emergency was declared by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday 11 November and is still in effect, giving emergency powers to Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and prohibiting fires across the state. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

EXHAUSTED firefighters and emergency service authorities over east have been provided with more relief with the arrival of a fifth Western Australian firefighter taskforce team.

Seventeen career firefighters from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ (DBCA) Parks and Wildlife Service flew out from Perth yesterday morning.

The team is the fifth group of Western Australian volunteer and career officers who have volunteered to help exhausted firefighters in Queensland and New South Wales.

In total so far, 103 Western Australians have headed into catastrophic and emergency fire conditions to help out east coast counterparts and help protect communities and lives.

The DFES and DBCA career and volunteer personnel come from across Western Australia and are highly skilled and experienced in firefighting.

RFS Firefighters battle a spot fire Hillville, NSW. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

 

They have been undertaking a variety of incident management roles including aerial suppression, ground support, planning, logistics and operations.

Another taskforce is scheduled to leave today for NSW.

Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said:¬†“Western Australia has a proud history of supporting other states in their time of crisis, and we are pleased to be able to help New South Wales and Queensland during these devastating fires.

“I want to congratulate and offer my thanks to our WA firefighters who have volunteered to go on this deployment and are leaving behind their loved ones to assist people in need on the other side of the country,” he added.

“We are watching what’s unfolding over east and I’m sure the people of Queensland and New South Wales will welcome the experience and assistance our volunteer and career officers are providing.”

Rural Fire Service firefighters battle a spot fire in Hillville, NSW. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson thanked the WA volunteer and career officers who have been helping battle bushfires over east and the support they have given communities that have been affected.

“These firefighters bring with them a great deal of experience and will play a vital role in helping to relieve exhausted crews who have been battling fires under extreme conditions over the past few weeks,” Mr Dawson said.

“This has also been an opportunity for our specialist Western Australian firefighters to share their extensive knowledge and draw on the expertise from interstate counterparts on bushfire management in a different environment.”