Griffith firies battle Wagga blaze

GRIFFITH'S fire-fighting volunteers have once again leapt to the rescue, dropping everything to battle the blaze south-east of Wagga.

A strike team of 14 Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers from across the region was dispatched to Wagga on Sunday to fight the severe bushfire burning at Carabost.

John Payne from Widgelli, Peter Lugsdin from Hay, Joel Sartor from Hanwood, John Stucking from Gidgell, Paul Andrews from Euroley, Coleambally group captain John Smith, Ian Thompson, Darryl Reid, Frank Scarli, Craig Smith, and Graeme Dunn from Yanco, and Jack Fraser from Paynters Siding will be led by strike team leaders Craig Bardney from Myall Park and Christine Chirgwin from Coleambally.

Lexi King from the RFS said the team will return on today, after three night shifts fighting the blaze.

Today, another strike team of volunteers will be dispatched to relieve the exhausted RFS members.

Meanwhile, five local trucks and two utes remain at Berri, in South Australia's Riverland region, where MIA crews have battled blazes since last week.

The Carabost fire, which is burning in dense pine plantations in and around the Murraguldrie State Forest, has so far razed more than $8000 hectares and destroyed five homes.

Mrs King said the local volunteers would provide vital assistance in defending homes and protecting properties.

"They are all very well trained and experienced fire fighters," Mrs King said.

"We thank them, their families and their employers for allowing them to go.

"Without the support of local employers giving them the time off work, we wouldn't be able to support other areas as well as we do."

While Griffith has so far been fortunate in avoiding any major blazes, Mrs King said it was vitally important for everyone to have a bushfire survival plan.

"People need to have a plan ready to be enacted if required," she said.

"There is now an app available that people can download, or they can come to the centre and get one."

Dozens of local RFS fire fighters were hailed heroes after they battled the Blue Mountains bushfires in October.

Mrs King said a different group had put up their hands for the latest emergency.


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