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_Month 93_Volume 11


									                                                                 #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
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
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.
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
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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