THE Orange region’s bushfire first line of defence has been bolstered with the addition of $850,000 worth of firefighting trucks.
The Canobolas Zone Rural Fire Service was presented with four vehicles on Saturday to replace older models in the Millthorpe, Blayney, Clifton Grove and Cumnock brigades.
One of the trucks can carry up to 3500 litres of water, two can carry 1000 litres and one carries 400 litres of water and is used as a type of scout truck for captains to assess the situation and report back to control on what assistance is needed to bring the fire under control.
The addition of the vehicles could not be more timely with the early onset of the bushfire season.
As the vehicles were presented a fire broke out at Lucky Downs, 15 kilometres from Orange and a pile burn was out of control at Vittoria.
Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Steve York said at the time there were 58 fires burning across the state, 22 of which were still out of control and 500 firefighters were on duty.
“It’s a sign of the season and for the next three months at least it will be much warmer and drier,” he said.
He reminded volunteers to keep safe at the fire front above all else this season.
“Make sure you look after one another.”
He asked volunteers to think of their loved ones left at home waiting for news after a fire breaks out.
The biggest addition to the vehicles is a heat curtain in the cabin which comes down if the truck is overcome by fire to protect the crew.
Canobolas Zone Superintendent Arthur Sharp said the heat curtain enables full protection of the truck and volunteers.
“These brigades are considered more active and we know they look after their equipment,” he said.
The existing vehicles will go to smaller outlying brigades.