Trent Froud, Member of Walcha District management team for Forestry Corporation of NSW, flew into the United States this week to help battle bushfires raging along the American west coast.
The local Forestry Corporation of NSW employee joined around 100 firefighters from NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and Forestry Corporation to help with the bushfire response.
Last year Forestry Corporation deployed four forestry workers, including Brian Lynch from Walcha, as part of a 100 strong team to fight bushfires in Canada.
America currently has around 140 uncontained fires burning across 5.6 million hectares in 14 states. Northern California, Oregon and Washington have been most impacted, with a number of lives lost, tens of thousands of people evacuated and over 1,000 properties destroyed.
the deployment will also see our staff exposed to new strategies, techniques and issues to build local fire management capacityTim McGuffog
Forestry Corporation staff Trent Froud and Andrew Condie are currently being briefed in Idaho and will be deployed initially on heavy plant management, said Forestry Corporation Fire Manager, Tim McGuffog.
“Both of our staff attending are very experienced fire managers and will be able to make a positive contribution to the United States bushfire response,” Mr McGuffog said.
“While our thoughts remain with those impacted, the deployment will also see our staff exposed to new strategies, techniques and issues to build local fire management capacity.”
As the Australian deployment battles bushfires abroad, Forestry Corporation is busy preparing for the expected long, hot and dry fire season ahead.
The organisation is responsible for preventing and managing fires in two million hectares of State forests across New South Wales. It also assists with large bushfires on private property, other bushland in Australia and also overseas.
Forestry Corporation spends the cooler months of the year preparing roads and fire trails, completing hazard reduction burns, upgrading its equipment to reduce the risk of fire and ensuring its crews are well prepared heading into summer.
“This year is unseasonably dry, so we are getting in early to be as prepared as we can be for the season ahead,” Mr McGuffog said.
“It’s essential that land managers and community alike play their part for the fire season—plan ahead, follow the rules and control any fires quickly.”