Hundreds of firefighters from Victoria are in Goulburn in readiness

NSW Police Academy superintendent Rod Smith and CFA Commander Steve Alcock with some of the many Victorian firefighters getting ready for the day in Goulburn. Photo David Cole.
NSW Police Academy superintendent Rod Smith and CFA Commander Steve Alcock with some of the many Victorian firefighters getting ready for the day in Goulburn. Photo David Cole.

Despite the Extreme Fire conditions in place in the Southern Tablelands today, residents of Goulburn and surrounds can take some comfort in the fact there are hundreds of extra firefighters here.

The firefighters are from Victoria and they are staying at the NSW Police Academy for the next two days.

Commander Steve Alcock said there are 150 firefighters in this task force all from Victoria, from the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

This team comprises of crews from the Geelong region and also from the Dandenong, Sale and Bairnsdale areas, the southern part of Victoria.

"We have 33 fire trucks up from Victoria, which comprise of our firefighting tankers, our command vehicles and a field operations vehicle set up to direct communications and task the other vehicles," Commander Alcock said.

"The plan is to be here today and if we are not needed today then we will be going home tomorrow.

"We have been sent here in a search capacity, so if something happens today in NSW we can be deployed, but we have the ability to stay here until Thursday night if necessary.

"We are back-filling the countryside so we can protect people here."

He said they are liaising with the NSW State Control Centre.

"We get our direction straight through the State Control Centre. We have a liaison officer embedded in that control centre and we will deploy to local areas as needed from there.

"If local command facilities are set up then we will liaise with them. Once we know where we are going, we will get specific details."

Commander Alcock said the danger period would be between 1pm and 4pm.

"This is the peak time for heat, humidity and when the cool change is starting to come through. This is the real danger period and we will be on high alert," he said.

The firefighters were briefed in the Bev Lawson Lecture Theatre at the Academy, early on Tuesday morning.

One of the main messages that was in the briefing was that hopefully 'everyone is going home safe'.

NSW Rural Fire Service Operational Officer of the Southern Tablelands Zone Lachlan Gilchrist said there were 12 local firefighters on deployment to the Northern NSW fires at the moment.

"They are on deployment as part of a strike team," he said.

"Our support locally is our priority today.

"We have sent 180 firefighters up north over the past six weeks."

Meantime, Goulburn Police are liaising with the RFS, the council and other agencies regarding today's extreme fire conditions.

Chief Inspector John Sheehan said the Emergency Operations Centre, working out of the Goulburn Mulwaree Council's Civic Centre, was on standby if needed.

He said the Wingecarribee area was the greater concern, with the Emergency Operations Centre there being open.

Further total fire ban rules are available on the NSW Rural Fire Service website.

Residents can stay up-to-date on nearby fires by visiting www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information, by calling the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or by downloading the 'Fires Near Me' app for smart devices. Residents should report unattended fires to Triple Zero (000) immediately.

This story Hundreds of Victorian firefighters descend on Goulburn to assist in extreme fire conditions first appeared on Goulburn Post.