An aerial view of the Wuthering fire on the north west coast of Tasmania taken by Northern River Rural Fire Service superintendent Boyd Townsend last week. Photo: Boyd Townsend
An aerial view of the Wuthering fire on the north west coast of Tasmania taken by Northern River Rural Fire Service superintendent Boyd Townsend last week. Photo: Boyd Townsend Photo: contributed

Three more local RFS members off to Tasmania

THE second wave of Northern Rivers Rural Fire Service reinforcements is flying to Tasmania tomorrow to help battle more than 50 blazes burning across the island state.

Northern Rivers Rural Fire Service operations manager Inspector Daniel Ainsworth said Marcus Mantscheff, Shane Smallcombe and Charlie Cohen were being deployed as remote area fire fighters to assist the Tasmanian Fire Service.

 

 

Back burning at Arthur River on Tasmania's north west coast last week. Photo: Boyd Townsend
Back burning at Arthur River on Tasmania's north west coast last week. Photo: Boyd Townsend Photo: contributed

Insp Ainsworth said the three RFS members will join 70 NSW RFS remote area fire fighters, 14 NSW RFS incident management specialists and five NSW RFS aviation specialists already on the ground in Tasmania.

"Remote area fire fighters get winched in by a helicopter or they walk into remote areas, depending on the location," he said.

"Then they are on their own doing what we call dry fire fighting using the tools that they carry in.

"If they are in an accessible area, they have a helicopter to support them and conduct water bombing on target areas identified by the fire fighters."

 

 

Back burning at Arthur River on Tasmania's north west coast last week. Photo: Boyd Townsend
Back burning at Arthur River on Tasmania's north west coast last week. Photo: Boyd Townsend Photo: contributed

Insp Ainsworth said tools carried by the fire fighters included chainsaws and blowers.

To become a remote area fire fighter volunteers must be an advanced fire fighter with three years' experience.

Northern Rivers RFS Superintendent Boyd Townsend spent last week mapping the fire grounds from the air to assist in battling the blazes and putting in backburns.

Both Mr Mantscheff and Mr Smallcombe will be going on their second deployment to Tasmania after returning from battling blazes for five days, last weekend.

Insp Ainsworth said the NSW RFS had committed to helping the Tasmanian Fire Service until mid-February, which will be reassessed depending on fire conditions.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is also sending three staff to Tasmania tomorrow to assist the Tasmanian Fire Service, Insp Ainsworth said.



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