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CFA skills test helps landowner
The Macarthur Group in District 5 brushed up on its firefighting skills while helping a local landowner last weekend.
On Sunday 2 May, the group conducted an 80-hectare controlled burn on private property near Macarthur.
The area, next to the Mt Eccles National Park, had been prepared earlier with a fire break already in place.
The weather was not ideal, with low winds and higher humidity than expected. Through careful planning and strategic lighting, the group was able to start the burn, being able to gain a useful perimeter to protect the National Park.
Around 40 members of the Macarthur Group were involved, with firefighters from the Ardonachie, Bessiebelle, Broadwater, Knebsworth, Macarthur, Byaduk, Orford and Ripponhurst brigades.
Although the weather picked up on Monday with stronger winds, the group was able to finish the burn.
A similar number of members attended, even though it was a work day. This showed how important the brigades are to the community and the high regard held for them.
Group Officer Owen Dyson and Deputy Group Officer and Group Training Officer Hugh McFarlane worked together to ensure everyone worked safely and knew their roles. A quick fill was set up at the local dam and the perimeter of the fire was monitored to ensure it didn't spread to the National Park.
Two new recruits from the Warrnambool Fire Station also attended the exercise. This gave them some valuable experience in bushfire behaviour.
Acting Operations Officer Simon Scharf said the exercise was well planned and conducted.
“Hugh and Owen managed the situation very well and they worked well together with their teams. The burn was in difficult, stony country which posed some problems for firefighters. However, the burn was effective and the landowner was very pleased,” he said.