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#4 August 2002 Zone One Fire Control Centre PH 63631122 Fax 6361 7223 Fire Reporting Number in Emergencies 000 PO Box E4 East Orange 2800 For the next five to six weeks we experienced our Dry spell & the coming summer busiest operational period in memory, The coming Bush Fire Danger Period is shaping Claggers Creek Goobang NP 1,000ha as potentially a problematic one where the Bureau of meteorology anticipates that the chance of Claggers Springs Goobang NP 31,000ha receiving below average rainfall for the period Winmaree Eugowra 2,000ha August to October is at 60%. Barton Reserve Lidster The Bush Fire Danger Period for the Districts in the Canobolas Zone historically commence from Amaroo Molong November through to March, however, given the Along with these the Canobolas Zone had a current fuel state and its rate of cure, there every significant commitment to other Section 44 across reason to believe the BFDP may be invoked from the State. These began in November where a st October 1 2002. number of crews were tasked to Kempsey for 3 Brigades, and the general public, will be advised days. Following Goobang, five Canobolas crews prior to the declaration. volunteered to assist at the Blue Mountains S44. Busy Winter for Brigades This initial deployment was replaced by other Canobolas crews, some of which were later The past month has seen many brigades active in redeployed to Oberon. Further crews were then the suppression of fires being the direct result of tasked to Oberon during the first week of January burning off activities escaping. to assist with containment. Most landholders most winters will take the th th On the 7 & 10 of January a further task force opportunity to carry out burning of blackberry, left Orange, this time headed for the Nowra & grass, fallen timber or other rubbish prior to the Shoalhaven areas on a five day commitment. onset of summer. This current winter being so dry, the landowners burning off are NOT taking In total Canobolas Zone was extremely well adequate precautions regarding firebreaks or fire represented throughout the State at many of the fighting equipment and then have to enlist the help major fires that created headlines over the of the brigade to extinguish a fire which has burnt more than they originally intended. Christmas period, and from the feedback we have The moral of the received from the FCO’s from those fire effected Well, The start to summer has certainly been Districts, the hard work of our crews did not go busier than expected with almost ALL brigades unnoticed. It was a credit to those who gave up being involved in fires one way or another. their holiday time or work to travel so far and help those communities under threat. During November there were many fires that brigades responded to which were kept small due Good news & bad news? to favourable weather and quick response. Each time there is a major fire, particularly fires December though really kicked it off when an that impact heavily on private property, there are electrical storm which passed through the north of always logistical & operational problems. The fires Cabonne District was responsible for a number of we have just experienced have been no fires. Two of these were in the Washpen Brigade exception. area, adjacent to the Goobang National Park. The To ensure we continually improve in the brigade wrapped up these fires quickly, one management of large incidents we hold a debrief having burnt near 200 acres. It was then noticed a to iron out & find solutions to the issues. So far fire burning in the northern end of Goobang. This there has been four major debriefs held for our fire became known as “Claggers Creek” & was firefighters and control personnel. The following declared a S44. Debriefs have been held: 2 Zone One Out of Area Commitments Orange 4 Feb 7. The debrief recommends the establishment of a mobile telephone Goobang Fire Yeoval 5 Feb repeater in the National Park to service All Agencies Debrief Orange 7 Feb the community and provide additional communications during fires. Winmaree Fire Eugowra 12 Feb Whilst most discussion at these meetings was 8. That NPWS seek the assistance of the constructive, there were some disappointing RFS to patrol fires when sufficient negative moments when blame seemed to be the resources may not be available from their highest priority. own organization. There were several recommendations that flowed 9. That the management of NPWS rosters from the meetings and these are summarised be handled outside the IMT structure. below, they will be dealt with more fully either in the Incident Controllers reports or through other avenues. These are other debrief meetings, Bush 10. That Canobolas RFS review the tanker Fire Management Committees, future training replacement program within the Cabonne plans, input & into fire management planning Council area and review the SOFC Report processes etc. in light of the increased responsibility of Recommendations brigades bordering National Parks. Key Recommendations from the Incident 11. That Cabonne Council review the RFS Controllers Reports on the Section 44 fires. tanker fleet and consider upgrading of the tanker fleet to meet community 1. That the Cabonne Rural Fire District expectations, OH&S requirements and boundary (under the management of the Government policy requirements. Canobolas RFS) be moved to the western boundary of the Goobang National Park. 12. That the draft Fire Management Plan for Goobang National Park be reviewed in 2. That the NPWS through the Canobolas light of the December 2001 fires and that BFMC be asked to retain fire trail the plan be presented to the pre improvements established during the fire and to review of trails in the National Park 2002/2003 fire season to the Canobolas be undertaken to ensure appropriate BFMC for adoption. refuge and turning areas for future fire fighting activities. 13. That NSW Farmers Association ensure that they are represented on the 3. That a quick initial direct attack be made Canobolas BFMC and attend the where possible on all fires within the meetings so that they can have input to Goobang National Park with the RFS and Fire Management issues. NPWS working in conjunction. 14. That proposals for hazard reduction 4. That the Councils of Blayney, Cabonne activities be submitted through the BFMC and Orange in conjunction with the Rural and that the brigades and NSW Farmers Fire Service facilitate the funding and Association be made aware of the construction of an appropriate Canobolas process for hazard reduction. A more Zone Fire Management Centre as a informed representation on the BFMC by matter of urgency. these organizations will ensure ownership and understanding by the landowners of 5. As an interim measure it is recommended the activities carried out by the Agencies. that the RFS negotiate with Cabonne Council to utilize all of the current Kite 15. That BFMC agency committee Street building as a FCC when it is representatives be reminded of their vacated by Council staff in 2002 until the hazard reduction and operational new facility is completed. responsibilities. 6. That the Canobolas Zone PMR network 16. That the NPWS review the possible be completed for the 2002/2003 fire strategies for fuel reduction along the season. western side of the Wandawondong ridge line. 3 Zone One 17. Air resources should have contact with 27. That planning in bushfire prone areas be Div Coms for deployment for particular reviewed to ensure suitable development tasks within a division following protocols for fire prone areas. deployment by Air Operations within the strategies developed by the IMT. 28. That local aircraft be utilized where appropriate for firefighting. 18. That where Section 44 fires cover more than one Local Government area that the 29. Canobolas RFS is to purchase a portable District DISPLAN be implemented. repeater to supplement fireground communications at larger fires. This will 19. That the Cabonne DISPLAN be reviewed be coupled with the purchase of 30 ex following the 2001/2002 Section 44 fires Olympic radios so that the in the Cabonne Council area. communications with the key commanders on the fire ground and 20. Canobolas RFS will be strengthening the heavy equipment operators can be co- Div Com role by boosting the forward ordinated by Forward Control and control with a deputy operations officer to managed in an effective manner. assist the Div Coms in their role and to manage the fireground. This Deputy Operations officer will ensure that Div Annual Brigades Conference Coms are properly briefed and that local input is used in the decision making The Commissioner has been invited to attend the process Canobolas Zone Annual Conference. The date being considered at this stage is the 8th May 21. The Rural Fire Brigades request that the 2002. It is proposed to have the Commissioner NPWS attend the brigade meetings of stay overnight and have discussions with the three brigades in the Goobang National Park Council General Managers on the morning of the area to develop an understanding and 9th May. This will provide an opportunity for our relationship between the agencies. Councils to raise issues relating to the RFS support of the Zone. 22. That the Operations Plan of the Canobolas BFMC identify the Canobolas It is proposed that the conference will take the RFS Control Centre and the form of information provided to the volunteers by establishment of a specific mobile the Canobolas Zone staff with a social function in Forward Control facility on the east of the the form of a barbeque and the keynote address fire for the management of future by the Commissioner. incidents in the area. Your Input 23. The completion of the Canobolas PMR network with paging facilities at the site Should any brigade wish to use the “Zone One” NE of Yeoval to be completed prior to the newsletter to advertise or inform others about any 2002/2003 fire season. pertinent brigade issues simply drop us a line at any of the contacts listed on page 1 & we will do 24. Canobolas RFS will be strengthening the our best to help. Div Com role by boosting the forward control with a deputy operations officer to This Newsletter will be circulated at least assist the Div Coms in their role and to quarterly. manage the fireground. Training 25. That Central Tablelands Water be requested to ensure that there is an By the time you are reading this tere will have adequate supply of water for emergency been a training calandar for 2002 produced for the situations at Eugowra. Zone, information on this will be available from Fire Control or through Captains and Secretaries 26. That the location of the Cabonne Council soon. tip at Eugowra be reviewed and that it be relocated to a more appropriate site that There will be a number of Zone run training is not on the west of town. courses this “off” season, including Advanced Firefighter(AF), Village Firefighter(VF), Crew Leader(CL), Rural Fire Driver (RFD) and selected Chain Saw Operator courses as well. 4 Zone One On top of this, some of you may have read media Additionally we will be running a few workshop stories relating to 10 NEW Cat 1 tankers for the type sessions to assist in keeping brigade Cabonne District. This has come about because members informed about the changing fire the Cabonne fleet is large, some 87 funded fighting environment. Some workshops planned tankers, and as a result of a replacement rate of are just 3 units per year, the fleet is getting very old. The average age of the Cabonne tanker fleet is Pumping with Reps from Hatz/Gaam currently 26.5 years. Foam workshop day Communications workshops If we are to reduce this age in the short term there GPS and their use is a real need to do better than 3 tankers per year Aviation Support or reduce the size of the fleet. Most brigades are Divcom & Operations training not keen on the latter There will also be a number of locally arranged Cabonne Council is now seeking a delagation to training happening across the three Districts as the Minister for Emergency Services to look at the time progresses. These will be advertised in some availability of these tankers for the financial year way as they become arranged. 2002/03. Each brigade should have or work towards having This will mean a commitment of $2.3million of an elected training officer so that this person can which Cabonne Council will need to fund act as the contact point and organiser of all things $318,000 being the Districts 13.3% contribution. If training on behalf of the brigade. the local and State funding is available and the tankers are allocated it will not impact on the In the meantime though there are training course delivery or allocation of other tankers to either of nomination forms available at our office or via fax the other Districts in the Zone. for you & your members. Fill in your details and the training that you would like to attend and when Fire Control Centre that course comes up we will advise you of the joining instructions. There has been some effort to establish a dedicated Fire Control Centre in Orange and at Tanker Allocations this stage our focus has been at the Bloomfield Hospital site south of Orange. This current financial year the Canobolas Zone will have taken delivery of seven new tankers in At this stage Mid West Area Health have agreed addition to three outstanding tanker deliveries to the NSW RFS establishing a centre at the site, from the last financial year, totalling eleven new however, there will be no decision tankers since July 2001. These are allocated as: Equipment Officers Blayney 3 x Cat 7’s 2001/02 Cabonne 3 x Cat 7’s “ More and more brigades are electing Equipment 1 x Cat 2 “ Officers at their annual meeting as a way to have Orange 1 x Cat 1 “ their equipment looked after, maintained and requisitioned. Next Financial year will see: If your brigade has an equipment officer and is not Blayney 2 x Cat 7’s 2002/03 sure of the role, we have some Equipment Officer Cabonne 1 x Cat 1 “ handbooks in stock to help them make better use 1 x Cat 7 “ of equipment and do it easily. Orange 1 x Cat 1 “ As mentioned we also had three tankers delivered recently which were allocated in the previous financial years budget. This included two new Cat 7 tankers for Blayney (Millthorpe & Newbridge) and one replacement Cat 1 tanker which was transferred from Wyong to Molong.
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