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Praise for firefighters


Praise for our fire fighters

Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, has praised the efforts of the region’s volunteer fire fighters who battled to save homes and properties over the weekend.

“Yet again we saw the men and women from the RFS putting their lives on the line to protect the region in what is the best of the volunteering spirit that is so important to our community,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“These are the people who put themselves between the destructive force of a destructive bushfire and our homes and families, who are running into situations when other people were running away.”

Mrs Sudmalis said the worst of the local fires was at Black Swamp near Callala Bay, which burnt about 770 hectares after escaping containment lines on Friday.

“This came right up to the back fence of some properties, and there is no doubt the damage would have been much worse had it not been for the skills, the professionalism and the dedication of the RFS volunteers,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

She said about 100 crews, comprising up to 300 personnel from local brigades and further afield in the Eurobodalla, Lake George, Southern Highlands and Illawarra fought the blaze, aided by crews from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Fire and Rescue NSW.

There were also five aircraft, including the large DC10 fixed wing tanker Thor, based out of Richmond, dropping up to 40,000 litres of retardant foam at a time.

Along with the Callala Bay blaze there was also a fire in difficult terrain at Woodburn, west of Milton, which also started on Friday.

Local crews were again backed up by personnel from out of the area and water bombing aircraft to bring the blaze under control over the weekend.

“While we are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the world, bushfires are a reality that we all need to be prepared for,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our local volunteers.

“Many of our young ones have come through the federally-funded Youth Volunteering Initiative held in our local schools, and many of our veteran firefighters are still in the heat of the danger and also mentoring the new volunteers.

“Well done to every one of you, including the RFS catering brigade,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

She urged people to prepare for the possibility of bushfires in their area by downloading the Bushfire Survival Plan from www.rfs.nsw.gov.au to update themselves on what they needed to do to give themselves, their family members, and their homes the best chance of surviving a bushfire unscathed. Media Release


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