South Australia Secures New Fire Trucks Ahead of Bushfire Season

By AAP
October 17, 2020 Updated: October 17, 2020

New trucks, new kit and better communications will place South Australia in a better position to fight potentially deadly bushfires this summer, the state government says.

The government is rolling out a $97.5 million (US$69 million) action plan following a major review of last season’s fires which devastated parts of the Adelaide Hills and the western half of Kangaroo Island.

The fires destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings and claimed three lives as they swept through more than 200,000 hectares of scrub and farm land.

“The review was completed and actions initiated immediately, so we can better manage bushfires and the impact they have on our communities,” Emergency Services Minister Vincent Tarzia said.

“The action plan is about safeguarding our future.”

On Sunday, Tarzia delivered a new high-tech fire truck and thermal imaging camera to the Montacute Country Fire Service brigade in the Adelaide foothills.

It’s one of 25 to join the CFS fleet this summer which the minister said would make a significant difference in its ability to protect lives and property.

Another 16 trucks are being refurbished to include sprinkler systems designed to protect firefighters and 55 thermal imaging cameras will be distributed across the state.

CFS Chief Officer Mark Jones said last season’s bushfires were intense and burned quickly, making enhanced safety systems crucial.

“It’s vital that our trucks are fitted to the appropriate safety standards, including the installation of sprinkler systems, so that if our personnel are caught in a fire, they have the optimal chance of remaining safe,” Jones said.

“Increasing the number of trucks with sprinkler systems will increase the number of trucks we can confidently send to major bushfire events.”

By Tim Dornin