Firefighter killed by falling tree while mopping up bushfire in NSW Hunter region

Firefighter killed by falling tree while mopping up bushfire in NSW Hunter region

04 February 2011

published by www.theaustralian.com.au


Australia — A FIREFIGHTER has been killed by a falling tree while battling a bushfire in the NSW Hunter region.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service divisional commander officer John Garlands, 65, was involved in a mopping up exercise at a bushfire site at Cessnock today when a tree fell on him.

The fire had been burning at Baraba Lane, off Watagans National Park, since Monday.

“He was trapped by the tree and despite frantic efforts from those around him was caught under the tree and passed away,” NPWS head Sally Barnes said today.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the grandfather’s death was a tragedy.

“This is an incredibly sad time and my thoughts and prayers are with the firefighter’s family and friends,” he said in a statement.

State Emergency Service Minister Steve Whan also expressed his condolences.

“This is a devastating time and I would like to praise the ongoing professionalism of these firefighters who work under extreme conditions,” he said in a statement.

Earlier today, the RFS warned people in NSW to be extra vigilant over the next two days with total fire bans declared for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Monaro Alpine and Central Ranges areas.

The RFS has already attended more than 100 bush and grass fires this week.


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