Top End fire fighters labelled ‘fire lighters’

Top End fire fighters labelled ‘fire lighters’

25 July 2013

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Australia — Rural residents in the Top End are worried about the amount of land being burnt-off and being classed as controlled fires.

Each year Bushfires NT and many volunteers undertake controlled burns across the Northern Territory in an attempt to limit the risk posed to people and property by fire.

But there’s concern the lack of resources available is forcing Bushfires NT staff to simply burn large tracts of land as opposed to implementing a strategic plan as described in its charter.

For those people who live in Palmerston and Darwin, the heavy smoke which often settles over suburban areas is now just part of the dry season, along with the dragon flies and cooler weather.

However for others, particularly those in the rural areas, there is too much fire as well as a persistent blanket of thick smoke.

Former volunteer fire fighter Diana Rickard, who has lived at Tumbling Waters in Darwin’s rural area for 20 years, is one of those most concerned about the approach taken by the firies.

She says a culture shift has allowed fire staff to spend more time lighting fires than actually extinguishing them.

“When the ‘fire lighters’ came into the brigade, is when I got out.

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