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Parks staff gear up for fire season


Parks and Wildlife Service staff are gearing up for an early start to the fire season with extra staff ready to respond and fire field days planned for this month.

Parks and Wildlife Service General Manager, Peter Mooney, said that summer brings an increase in visitation to parks and reserves as people are keen to enjoy the walks, beaches and many other recreational activities available.

"We encourage people to visit the State's parks and reserves, however, with the current dry conditions they will need to take extra care with fire," Mr Mooney said.

"The 12-member seasonal fire crew started this week in anticipation of the coming fire season.

"The fire crew includes many experienced fire fighters and they add to the capacity of rangers and field staff who are trained and ready to respond to bushfires in our parks and reserves.

"They will assist with our program of spring burning and work to clear fire trails and fire breaks in strategic locations around the State."

Mr Mooney said the Parks and Wildlife Service has a strong program of training and fitness checks so that appropriately trained and fit staff are available for a fire response.

"Helicopter training is being conducted at locations around the State and fire field days are planned for the coming weeks as well," he said.

"These training days ensure that staff have the required personal protective gear and general fire fighting equipment and they provide the opportunity to become reacquainted with this equipment after the winter break.

"We do have concerns that the continuing dry conditions present a threat of bushfires in Tasmania's parks and reserves and ask that people use fire safely and in accordance with the permit periods in force."