‘Thor’ aircraft, capable of dropping 15,000 litres of water, arrives in NSW ahead of bushfire season

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has unveiled its newest firefighting tool, a massive water-bombing aircraft nicknamed Thor, ahead of the bushfire season. The plane has just arrived from North America for the Australian bushfire season and performed a practise water-bombing exercise near Richmond air base in north-west Sydney. The air tanker can drop…

A lack of training, equipment and volunteers are challenges for local bushfire brigades

A LACK of training, equipment and volunteers are challenges faced by local bushfire brigades, according to a report released by the Auditor-General Colin Murphy last Thursday. The report outlined concerns about volunteer fatigue and the lack of training. Bunbury Volunteer Bushfire Brigade captain Terri Kowal said there was a definite demand for more training on…

Insight sought on bushfire predictability

A WORLD-FIRST University of Tasmania study is expected to reveal new information about bushfire predictability. Current science enables firefighters to estimate the best locations for resources and evacuations ahead of time, but there are concerns that the science could be rendered useless in the event of a super fire. The state’s bushfire season will begin…

The West: Manpower woes loom for brigades

Recruiting and retaining WA’s volunteer bushfire fighters is becoming an increasingly difficult task, the State Government’s watchdog has found. Auditor General Colin Murphy said yesterday that increasing turnover, falling recruitment led down by regional areas and a “rising concern” about fatigue among volunteers were challenging its ranks. In a report into the support for and…

Australia grants fund to prevent bushfires

The article below was published by AustralianNews.net earlier today   The Australian government on Monday allocated $2 million to prevent deadly bushfires from ravaging rural Victorian communities. Victoria, which was hit by its worst bushfires in 2009, is a hot-spot for summer blazes. The government said the funds, as part of the Commonwealth’s National Bushfire…