Bushfire Volunteers Thanked For Protecting Their Communities

Bushfires NT Executive Director Collene Bremner today thanked volunteer firefighters for their huge efforts and sacrifices made so far this year to protect their communities.

“We knew this year’s fire season would be one of the worst on record and volunteer firefighters have gone above and beyond to save lives and properties,” Ms Bremner said.

“The largest fire this week continued for two days requiring the use of four helicopters, three water bombing planes and 20 volunteers before it was safely contained. 

“Fighting fires is an inherently risky business and the teamwork, dedication and coordinated efforts shown by Volunteer Bushfire Brigades has been outstanding this year and I thank each and every volunteer for all their great work.

“More than 80 volunteer firefighters have spent the past week in much of Darwin’s rural area giving up their time at work or with friends and family to protect their communities from what have been very large and dangerous fires, the causes of which will be investigated.

“This is a huge sustained volunteer effort from a relatively small network of individuals within our rural community.

“Fixed and rotary wing aircraft have played a significant role, providing ground crews with vital support in combating more than 20 fires that have impacted more than 1000 hectares across Darwin River, Adelaide River, Batchelor, Tumbling Waters, Berry Springs, Noonamah, Dundee Downs, Lake Bennett and many other populated parts of the Top End.

“As the Top End fire season is a long way from ending, rural residents are urged to follow a few simple tips to help protect their homes and their communities if they haven’t already done so.

“This includes keeping fuel loads to a minimum around your property by clearing away dried grass, dead leaves and branches.

“Trim back trees that overhang structures and control or eradicate grassy weed species.

“Maintain a well-cut, green lawn around your home and install firebreaks that are free from slashed or dead material and don’t have any vegetation more than 50 millimetres high.”

The fundamental principle established by the Bushfires Management Act is that the responsibility for bushfire management rests with the landholder.

“Firebreaks help save lives and limit the spread of bushfires,” Ms Bremner said.

“Failure to do so could result in a fine or imprisonment.

“We also urge the public to report acts of arson or other suspicious activity around their community by calling Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

Go to https://denr.nt.gov.au/land-resource-management/bushfire-information-and-management for more information about Bushfires NT.

Last updated: 30 August 2017