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CFA crews deployed to Western Australia
Chief Officer Euan Ferguson farewelled 69 CFA members who are travelling to Western Australia today to help with firefighting efforts in the state’s south west.
They will join another 73 Victorian emergency services personnel heading west, including 58 from DELWP, 13 from Parks Victoria and two from Melbourne Water.
The group will staff incident management teams and crew trucks as a fire continues to burn in Shannon National Park, about 300km south of Perth. The bushfire started on Friday and has threatened homes in and around the town of Northcliffe.
Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett joined CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson and State Response Controller Alan Goodwin to farewell the contingent at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport at midday.
Of the 142 Victorians deployed, 60 are firefighters from brigades across Gippsland (30 CFA and 30 DELWP) and the remaining 82 are IMT/support personnel from metropolitan Melbourne (26), Hume (12) and Gippsland (44).
Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said he was pleased CFA could help support our interstate counterparts and praised the willingness of crews to help.
Crews will assist in firefighting efforts for around a week, although it's hoped the bushfire will brought under control as quickly as possible.
“Over the past few weeks Victoria has experienced a milder summer so we are pleased to be able to provide the resources and personnel where they are needed most at the current time,” State Response Controller Alan Goodwin said.
The Western Australian fire is more than 21,000ha in size and not yet under control. It is burning in a south-westerly direction but the potential to impact surrounding towns has reduced due to lighter winds near Northcliffe today.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said it was expected personnel would return ahead of Victoria’s forecast hot weather this weekend and into next week.
“Over the weekend temperatures are expected to rise into the high 30s and possibly low 40s but at the moment, the threat is in Western Australia and we will provide assistance there until our personnel are needed back in Victoria for operations,” he said.
“Victoria has a strong network of firefighters and emergency management personnel who operate in specialist roles and we are pleased to be able to share these resources and expertise with our interstate counterparts.
“Australia has cross-border arrangements for sharing personnel, resources and aircraft and it is important that we continue to operate with no borders and support each other where needed.”