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Volunteers in fire fight

Saturday, 4th January, 2020

Marc Coulter Marc Coulter

By Emily McInerney

Local Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service volunteers continue to help battle bushfires in NSW.

Rural Fire Service Inspector and District Manager Vaughn Elsworth said 20-plus volunteers from the Far West had been deployed since October across the state.

Currently, there is one person manning the RFS office in Cobar with crews set to return on Monday.

SES Deputy Zone Commander Marc Coulter said they also have volunteers battling blazes, but they were representing the Rural Fire Service.

“We have one man up at Glen Innes and Tenterfield who has been helping with the heavy vehicle driving.

“There are also members from the Silverton RFS.

“They have travelled up five times in the last three months; doing five-day stints.

“The three local SES volunteers are also members of the Silverton RFS.

“They are assisting with welfare, catering, transportation.”

Mr Coulter said the fires have been ongoing for five months and there appeared to be no respite in sight.

“It’s not a good outlook and this weekend looks set to bring about catastrophic fires.”

Fellow local SES member Darren Larkin said they have had to call a couple of volunteers back.

“We’ve had a little bit going on in the town and we always like to keep people here over the holidays.

“We may look to send another team in the coming weeks.

“I know the Sydney SES units have been responding.

“We do still have to cover the town.”

A total fire ban will be in effect across NSW all weekend; including all areas in the Far West.

Locals are reminded that no fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, for example, wood, charcoal or heat beads.

No general purpose welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting can be done in the open.

Far West NSW is at a high fire danger rating while most of the state is at extreme and severe.

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