3 NSW National Parks firefighters died and 4 are critical following a prescribed burn in Sydney's northern suburbs today.
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Thread: 3 dead in Australia
06-08-2000, 08:12 AM #1NathanFirehouse.com Guest
3 dead in Australia
06-08-2000, 12:34 PM #2FireBabeFirehouse.com Guest
My condolences to family and colleagues.
The information available from the net:
10:11 pm AEST June 8 2000
Three dead, four injured in backburn disaster
Three National Parks and Wildlife Service officers died and four others were injured when a routine backburning operation in Sydney's north went horribly wrong this afternoon.
Two of the four injured were in a critical condition with extensive burns after becoming trapped by fire, which flared up during the mop-up period of the backburn.
The routine hazard reduction burn operation was being conducted in Ku-ring-gai National Park to protect local residents' homes, NSW Environment Minister Bob Debus said.
When they returned to mop-up the burn today, the fire flared up, trapping the officers.
An NRMA Careflight helicopter spokesman said of the four officers injured, one woman suffered burns to 80 per cent of her body and had been transferred to the special burns unit at Concord Hospital.
A man suffered burns to 40 per cent of his body, mainly his arms and face, and had been taken to Westmead Hospital.
The other two injured personnel were taken to Royal North Shore Hospital.
The minister told parliament the fatalities occurred during a routine backburning operation.
"A tragic incident has occurred during a routine hazard reduction burn undertaken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service staff in the Ku-ring-gai National park this afternoon," Mr Debus told parliament.
"This burn-off was designed to protect the homes of residents."
Mr Debus said some of the National Parks' most experienced firefighters had been involved in planning and executing the exercise on the eastern side of the Ku-ring-gai township.
"I am deeply saddened to inform the house that I have just been advised that three National Parks staff have lost their lives.
"Our thoughts, the thoughts of all the house, are now with all of the officers and their families and friends at this terrible time."
He said the National Parks and Wildlife director-general Brian Gilligan was at the scene.
Mr Debus said a Coronial Inquiry would be conducted into the incident.
Concerns have been raised over the fact there had not been any backburning in the area for some time, Hornsby MP Stephen O'Doherty said.
He said there were some serious litter problems on the floor of the forest.
"Just last Saturday when I was walking through Westfield Hornsby, a former senior fire officer from the area stopped me and said: 'We really need to raise again the question of backburns because the bush is very dry'."
"He said (to me): 'We are in for dangerous times ahead'."
Mr O'Doherty said the accident would be a shock to the close-knit communities of Mt Ku-ring-gai and Berowra.
"The families go to the local schools and churches, everybody knows everybody else and community is a word that features very strongly in their vocabulary about themselves," he said.
"I know that the community will be in mourning for a very considerable time to come because of this."
Lt JJ Edmondson,
Clyde-Cardinia Fire Brigade,
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