Two from Eyre Peninsula help fight Tasmanian fires

FIRIES: The Remote Area Fire Crew in Tasmania in January. Pictured are (back): Sebastian Drewer, Luke Gabell, Derek Snowball, Lang Wilmott, Jarrod Saers, Jacob Beinke, Aaron Macumber, Brenton Florance, Phil Sims; front: Jared Pippos, Attila Marton and Tony Pratt. Photo: supplied
FIRIES: The Remote Area Fire Crew in Tasmania in January. Pictured are (back): Sebastian Drewer, Luke Gabell, Derek Snowball, Lang Wilmott, Jarrod Saers, Jacob Beinke, Aaron Macumber, Brenton Florance, Phil Sims; front: Jared Pippos, Attila Marton and Tony Pratt. Photo: supplied

Two Eyre Peninsula men have been among the many firefighters that have assisted with controlling the bushfires in Tasmania.

On January 20, 12 Department of Environment and Water remote area firefighters and three incident management specialists joined six Country Fire Service officers deployed to several fires across the state.

Among them were department personnel from the Eyre Peninsula, Aaron Macumber and Seb Drewer who did a seven day rotation in Tasmania.

Mr Macumber, who is an Eyre Peninsula fire management officer with the department, said he was based in Rosebery in northwest Tasmania and worked primarily on the Western Hills fire.

He said he was part of a four person team which helped contain the fire edge using hoses and hand tools, with support from helicopters.

“The experience was similar to some of my previous firefighting work in Victoria, however this is the first time I was deployed as a remote area firefighter interstate,” he said.

“It’s such a rewarding experience to assist with large-scale bushfire fighting operations in other areas of the country.”

Mr Macumber said the main difference with the terrain in Tasmania compared to Eyre Peninsula were the steep slopes and the thicker and taller vegetation cover.

He said it felt good to be a part of a collective effort that included firefighters from Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand.

“While bushfires are devastating events, it’s really rewarding to work as part of a group with a common goal of helping communities and protecting the Australian environment,” he said.

Both men have since returned following their seven-day rotation.

Tasmania has been dealing with state-wide fires since mid January with more than 205,000 hectares burned as of February 11, including nearly 1800 kilometres of fire edge.

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