Photography by Martin Chalk











Home Events News Gallery Podcasts Sitemap
Site Search [shim]




Jon Stanhope Media Release

The success of this week’s controlled burn at Cooleman Ridge in Chapman was an example of how ACT Government officers and the community were pulling together to reduce the bushfire risk in Canberra, 365 days a year, Chief Minister and Environment Minister Jon Stanhope said today.


Environment ACT, the ACT Bushfire Brigade and their Community Fire Units had coordinated efforts – at short notice – to make the most of favourable conditions on Tuesday.


Mr Stanhope said controlled burns were part of the ACT Government’s year-round focus on fire preparedness. The program was part of the responsible Territory-wide approach outlined in the Bushfire Management Plan.


The burn at Cooleman Ridge, though only covering four hectares, had significantly reduced fuel loads in the area. The work was done according to a plan prepared by Environment ACT staff, and approved by the Rural Fire Service, well in advance of the burn.


Tuesday’s efforts involved about 25 trained firefighters from the Parks and Forests Brigades, which was made up of members of Environment ACT, including extra seasonal fire fighters working toward accreditation status, three tankers and four light units. It was completed by 11pm and crews were on site the following morning to make sure all was well.


More than 12 members of the local Community Fire Unit were also involved. This was at least the second time that units have been involved in such burns. ACT Fire Brigade Community Fire Unit Coordinator Dean Lambert said, "It really was a great exercise for the Community Fire Unit members who took part and I think they enjoyed their involvement with the professional units immensely.”


Among those in attendance at the burn were Deputy Captain Cliff Stevens, one of the most experienced and longest-serving bush fire fighters in the ACT, and Rob McVey, a seasonal fire fighter, and one of three summer crew leaders. Mr Stevens began work with ACT Forests in 1968, is an experienced tanker driver, qualified trainer and fills many roles on the fire ground. Mr Mc Vey’s experience includes working in a fire brigade at a ski resort in the United States. He came to the ACT from Brisbane purely to work in the seasonal crew over summer.


Mr Stanhope said the ACT Government was committed to bushfire preparedness 365 days a year. “The Parks and Forests Brigades from Environment ACT crew more than 12 light units and six tankers, as well as providing half of the rostered incident management personnel,” he said. “Together with the Volunteer Brigades, they provide a formidable bushfire protection force for the ACT.”


Residents had every reason to feel confident in the efforts of qualified, capable staff and community members, as well as in the veracity of bushfire planning and provision of state-of-the-art equipment.


[shim] [arrow] Copyright   [arrow] Privacy   [arrow] Disclaimer   [arrow] Contact Us   [arrow] Webmaster [shim] Last updated 18 January 2018