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3 - Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Services on alert as summer heats up
ACT Emergency Services Agency commissioner Dominic Lane at ESA HQ in Fairbarn.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Two helicopters are on standby,
firefighters have received enhanced
training and a range of plans are in
place in case of catastrophic
bushfires this summer.
The ACT Emergency Services
Agency is bracing for a busy few
months with weather conditions
creating headaches for those
preparing to keep the community
ACT ESA commissioner
Dominic Lane said there was
concern across the board this year.
"We've got significant dry bush
fuels across our forested areas but
because of the rains we had in
autumn and winter we've still got
quite a deal of grass growth,'' he
"The risk is quite broad this year,
which is why we're predicting that
worse-than-average fire season.''
Along with helicopters, extra
training for firefighters and plans to
access Territory and Municipal
Services machinery on high fire
danger days, Mr Lane said ESA had
increased the number of remote
area firefighters to defend the
"They will be at the forefront of
our work should we get dry
lightning storms,'' he said.
"We are working closely with
our rural land holders on the city's
edge to improve their planning,
which will protect Canberra.''
The ESA has already recorded at
least 40 landscape, vegetation, bush
and grass fires since November.
Meanwhile, upgrades have been
made to the ESA co-ordination
centre at Fairbairn through winter.
This is expected to improve
communication to the public during
"We've continued to improve our
public information and messaging
to get those alerts out as quick as
possible,'' Mr Lane said. A new
draft strategic bushfire management
plan has also been completed just in
time for the hotter months.
"All the indicators are of course
that bushfire risk is not going to get
any less go away it is only going to
get worse,'' Mr Lane said.
"If you are in a bushfire prone
area and there is a bushfire the best
thing you can do is leave early.''
For more information about
how to protect your home and
family during the bushfire
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