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Chief Officer tours Tassie fireground
Chief Officer Joe Buffone has toured the Tasmanian fireground ahead of the return of 84 CFA firefighters from their deployment interstate.
Mr Buffone flew into Hobart first thing Sunday morning before embarking on an aerial tour of the fireground and meeting strike teams.
The helicopter flight crossed the Overland Track before landing at a number of remote sites including Arthur River, then followed on to the basecamp at Stanley.
“I met incoming strike teams and current strike teams,” Mr Buffone said.
“It was great to get a first-hand impression of the work our crews are doing alongside DELWP and Parks Victoria as part of the Victorian contingent.
“What I saw was a great example of different fire services working together on a campaign fire which is having significant impact on the Tasmanian community.
“It’s been a great display of dedication from our crews who’ve been able to offer relief to our Tasmanian counterparts.
“They’re in some very remote areas, carrying out really hard, physical work blacking-out and tracking the fire.
“Everywhere we went there was a very positive attitude. Everyone seemed upbeat about supporting our friends in need. I was very proud.”
Mr Buffone also met with his Tasmanian counterpart, Chief Officer Gavin Freeman to evaluate the overall response.
“The level of support we’ve offered extends beyond firefighters on the ground,” Mr Buffone pointed out.
“We have staff working hard at a state-level in the fields of mechanics, communications, peer support and wellbeing.
“It shows the strength of CFA’s volunteers and career staff in being able to provide this type of support over a long period of time.
“And all while maintaining our own capability for the Victorian fire season.
“We forget about how busy we’ve been at home already with around 3,600 jobs and 15 major fires this season.”
But Mr Buffone said the battle isn’t over for Tasmania.
“There’s still a lot of work to do. The fires won’t be extinguished until they get a good rainfall.”
Around 84 CFA members and 69 DELWP and Parks Victoria staff return to Victoria today after completing their deployment.
Further Victorian strike teams departed for Tasmania from Melbourne late last week.