Interstate firefighters have been welcomed to a CFA burn camp near the South Australian border which will increase knowledge and cooperation between fire agencies.
Approximately 33 CFA volunteers attended the six-day camp at a property near Minimay, with another 2 State Training Officers from South Australia’s Country Fire Service (CFS) joining in.
Ian Morrison, Vegetation Management Officer for West Region, said burn camps have been a successful part of CFA’s fuel management plans for more than a decade.
“They were introduced in 2011 in a place called Brucknell and they’ve been running fairly regularly since then,” he said.
“Burn camps were developed to bring a group of people together to do fuel reduction burns, and it’s evolved to include training elements as well.
“This could include practical parts of the General Firefighter training, or volunteers may just need some more practical work for their crew leader or strike team leader courses, or just add to their general skills maintenance.
“Participants also learn further skills on topics such as fire behaviour, weather, and topography, and undertake courses such as hazardous tree training to further improve their knowledge.”
The primary purpose of burn camps is fuel reduction, and the recent camp at Minimay featured fuel reduction burns on introduced grass species.
“Our main role was to burn the introduced species and try to promote some more native biodiversity into the landscape,” Ian said.
“But we also had CFS enquiring about participation, so it was great to involve another agency.
“They wanted to look at the burn camp to see if it’s worthwhile for them to introduce something similar for their wildfire training in South Australia.
“They seem to immensely enjoy the week’s work and they hopefully took a lot out of their experience.
“We’ll certainly look to invite them to participate in future burn camps.”
Burn camps can be held across the state, with CFA’s West and North West regions hosting the camps this year.