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Four members from the Clarence Valley RFS that formed part of “Arduous Team Delta”, deployed to assist with the Tasmanian bushfires between 25 January and 1 February. L-R Paul Johnston (Nymboida Brigade), Cody Jones (Wooloweyah Brigade), Kirra Innes (Wooloweyah Brigade) and Scott Campbell (Lawrence Brigade). Image: contributed

Local RFS deployed to Tasmanian fires

Lynne Mowbray |

Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service (RFS) strike force teams have been deployed to help fight the bushfires which are currently burning throughout Tasmania.

RFS Operations Officer Ian Smith said that the Clarence Valley has so far sent 10 arduous fire fighters, who are trained in advanced fire fighting, to Tasmania.

“Six of these guys returned this week and will rest up for a week before returning next week,” Mr Smith said.

“We’ve got six more fire fighters flying down during this week and this will be pretty much ongoing thing for the next month.

“We’ve got our District Manager Stuart Watts who left on Monday and is down there at the moment, assisting as the Deputy Incident Controller.

“Gulmarrad RFS fire fighters Nick Clarke and Peter Watt will leave on Wednesday (6 February) and they will be helping to run the Glenora/Fenton base camp in Tasmania,” he said.

Mr Smith who is a Remote Area Fire (RAF) team fire fighter, trained in winching in and out of helicopters in remote areas, has worked with these fire fighters to get them up to ‘arduous’ qualification.

“Later this year we will be doing training to work in remote environments and then helicopter training as well, so by the end of the year we’re going to have a good group of close to 20 RAF trained fire fighters, which we’ve never had in the valley before,” Mr Smith said.