NPWS has a strong record of rapidly responding and containing bushfires within its boundaries. On average, NPWS has contained 85% of all bushfires that started on park within reserve boundaries. This is largely due to effective cooperative arrangements, a responsive detection and suppression capability, specialised response teams, and successful strategic hazard reduction programs.
NPWS staff are highly trained to respond to bushfires. To enable staff to respond effectively to bushfire incidents they attend:
- fire, incident and aviation training courses
- annual training, skills and fitness recertification programs.
During the fire season, key NPWS staff work at the NSW Rural Fire Service State operations centre to help coordinate firefighters.
Fire suppression methods
Fire suppression involves all actions undertaken to contain and control fire, from the time a fire is detected until it is extinguished and declared ‘out’.
Strategies used to suppress bushfires include:
- direct and indirect attack
- use of earthmoving equipment
- use of fire suppression chemicals.
More than one strategy may be used to respond to and control a bushfire. The choice of strategy depends on:
- prevailing seasonal conditions and forecast weather
- predicted fire behaviour
- firefighter safety
- assets and values at risk
- financial cost
- the impact of strategies on biodiversity and cultural heritage.