A WEEK into the Blue Mountains bushfire emergency and now Orange Army Reserve personnel are on standby to respond.
They join nine NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers and four Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters from Orange and Canobolas who left the region to relieve tired crews yesterday morning. Both fire services have rotated crews at the emergencies since they began late last week, with authorities concerned the incidents will continue for a while yet.
Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Terry Betts of the 1st/19th Battalion said six Orange army reserve personnel were on standby along with 24 others from the western region.
“We’re planning for army personnel to go to support emergency services,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Betts said he expected personnel would be tasked to assist with recovery operations over the next few weeks.
Canobolas Zone RFS assets and infrastructure officer Steve Smith said a strike team of 20 western region firefighters, including nine from the Canobolas Zone, left for the firegrounds yesterday morning.
“I’ve got a list of 30 or 40 people willing to go ... we’ve got a very proactive group of volunteers in the zone,” he said.
Mr Smith expects the emergency to continue for the next few weeks with the need for new crews ongoing.