Fire expert to share skills

Fire expert to share skills

20 March 2008

published by

Australia — A local fire expert will head overseas later this month to share his expertise in prescribed burning.

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) district fire coordinator Peter Gibson is one of two experts who will train staff at South Africa’s Komatiland plantation near Nelspruit in the country’s north east.

Komatiland is one of the largest government-owned plantation companies in the country.

Mr Gibson said he would train staff in how to plan and undertake prescribed burns, passing on years of experience and knowledge gained in WA where prescribed burning has been going on since the 1960s.

“Prescribed burning in WA is one of the key ways of reducing fuel loads which gives us a much better chance of controlling bushfires,” he said.

“And fuel reduction burning in plantations is probably one of the most cost effective ways of controlling fires during the summer period.”

Mr Gibson has worked with the DEC for 16 years and has been involved in fire management since 1995.

His role involves managing the department’s fire detection, suppression and control activities in the Wellington district between Collie and Harvey including planning prescribed burning programs.

He has also fought fires in America and the eastern states.

Mr Gibson said he was looking forward to the experience.

“I’ll be looking at bringing back ideas and information and it’s a good opportunity for an exchange of ideas,” he said

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