Bushfires NT firefighter to help in Victoria

Bushfires NT has today answered the call from Victoria to help fight devastating wildfires in that state with one staff member set to be deployed on Sunday.

Victoria has reached maximum capacity and Bushfires NT Senior Fire Management Officer Lee Gleeson will fill the role of Air Operations Manager for one week to help guide Emergency Management Victoria’s air fleet, which includes a mix of water-bombing, air supervision and aerial intelligence aircraft.

“Having only started with Bushfires NT on Monday this week it is surreal to be heading back to Victoria so soon after 29 years’ service in fire management, planned burning and aviation,” Mr Gleeson said.

“Returning to Victoria on Sunday highlights the unpredictability of fires and the need for all states and territories to come together and provide what assistance they can when called upon.”

Bushfires NT Executive Director Collene Bremner said she was confident Mr Gleeson would do an outstanding job during his deployment.

“The Country Fire Authority, Forest Fire Management Victoria and Emergency Management Victoria put a joint call out for other states and territories, as well as New Zealand, to help manage the ongoing fire situation in Victoria,” Ms Bremner said.

“Only one air operations manager was requested and it’s great to see Lee being able to help out where he knows the conditions and people he’ll be working with quite well.”

Ms Bremner said other Bushfires NT personnel were not required at this stage and that they’re continuing to remind Central Australian landholders to put their own fire plans in place, if they haven’t already done so, to ensure they are best prepared in the event of a bushfire occurring.

“Many of the fires so far this Central Australia fire season have been caused by lightning with Bushfires NT crews and volunteer bushfire brigades kept busy, helping landholders to contain these fires,” Ms Bremner said.

“Landholders working together to reduce bushfire risk is absolutely essential.”

People should call 000 in an emergency and if you see, hear or know about suspicious activity relating to illegal fires then call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Go to www.nt.gov.au/bushfires for more information about Bushfires NT or www.pfes.nt.gov.au/Fire-and-Rescue.aspx for more information about the NTFRS.

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