Helicopter crews will take off from Cowra Airport from today onwards, undertaking inspections to ensure fire trails are in good condition in preparation for bushfire conditions.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the aerial inspections are being conducted by Crown Lands in conjunction with the Rural Fire Service.
“All of our fire combat agencies including the Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Corporation rely on properly maintained fire trails,” Ms Cooke said.
“These inspections will allow fire trails surrounding Cowra to be efficiently checked so that they are accessible should firefighters need to use them to access blazes this summer.”
“While ongoing wet weather has dampened the immediate bush fire risk, it has also caused erosion in some areas and sparked vegetation growth which needs to be managed before hot, dry and windy weather returns.”
Once the aerial inspections are conducted, the Soil Conservation Service undertakes any follow-up ground maintenance work.
Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said helicopter inspections are more efficient than four-wheel drive checks in remote locations and where fire trails cross multiple land boundaries.
“Inspections identify if trees have fallen and need removal; if erosion or vegetation growth has impacted trails; and if watercourse crossings require repair,” Mr Anderson said.
“Other work includes constructing and maintaining fire vehicle passing and turning bays, signage and gates to protect trails from illegal access and dumping.”