Call for remote rural fire brigade


News
Aa

SOME farmers are calling for a new strategy to protect remote station country as crews continue mopping-up smouldering ashes from fires that destroyed large tracts of grazing land in the northern pastoral districts last month.

SOME farmers are calling for a new strategy to protect remote station country as crews continue mopping-up smouldering ashes from fires that destroyed large tracts of grazing land in the northern pastoral districts last month.

Aa

Lightning strikes in October triggered a blaze which raged through about 50,000 hectares on Alan Fennell's Lambina Station, just north of Marla.

He would like to see a rural fire brigade subsidy program launched by the State Government that could help station owners and townspeople buy firefighting equipment and protective clothing.

"You (would be able to) form a brigade among some graziers and towns people," Mr Fennell said.

"Every member of that brigade could buy equipment and store and maintain it on their property – subsidised 50 per cent by State Government.

"It means there'd be more equipment out there in the field and the government would only have to pay half."

South Australian Pastoral Board member and Todmorden Station owner Douglas Lillecrapp had 70,000ha of land burnt by fires in January.

He had to build a 40-kilometre backburn line to deprive the fire of fuel before it was brought under control.

With the fire season looking dangerous because of a wet summer, Mr Lillecrapp said Mr Fennel's idea had merit.

He said basing equipment on farm meant those in the firing line – the farmers – would be better prepared to protect their land, and it would increase support for the Country Fire Service, which had appliances based in some towns.

"At the end of the day, we're out here, and we're the cold, hard face of it all," Mr Lillecrapp said.

"If the State Government could provide some subsidy assistance then, ideally, yes. The equipment needs to be based on different properties because if there's a fire, we're the first people who have to deal with it.

"When you get these exceptional seasons, fires are a huge problem and we're on the back foot."

The story Call for remote rural fire brigade first appeared on Farm Online.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by