Australia — The Act Rural Fire Service says its recruitment drive has so far fallen short for the coming bushfire season.
The ranks of volunteers has been steadily declining since the surge after Canberra’s 2003 firestorm.
The service’s Roberta Liddell says it is estimated another 50 people need to sign up to reach the target of 500.
“We would anticipate that if people apply now we can get all the paperwork processed and get them training, so they’re ready to go out out onto a fire ground in the 2006 fire season, which starts on the 1st of October,” she said.
“People who’ve still got reasonable level of fitness and are interested in joining a brigade and giving something back to the community, through helping to protect the National Parks and the local rural environment from bush and grass fires.”