Tasmanian bush fire season for 2013 has been one of the busiest that I’ve had the chance to assist with. The two fires that will be remembered are Inala road at Forcett and Dawson road at Lake Repulse. This was the first time (to my knowledge) that additional crews were sourced from interstate and New Zealand to assist with the TFS (Tasmanian Fire Service)
The main advantages of combined resourcing is learning how things are done in different ways from the interstate organisations that can be put in place to benefit local crews. One of the main areas of notice (for me) was flight following for aircraft being used on the fire ground. In past years there’s only ever been one or two aircraft in use so they generally liaised with ground crews but most of the coordination was done between the pilots. This was changed this year as there was many more aircraft resources being used due to multiple active fire fronts. The role that I played in this was keeping track of aircraft movements and their general well being. This provided the operations manager and the air desk manager with a snap shot of how and where their resources were.
As much as I have enjoyed this volunteer work, I’d much prefer that the need wasn’t required! However, I’ve met and worked with some great people during these activations. So for me this has been a pleasure, but I realise that there are many others in the greater community that have lost all their livelihood as a result.
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