Australia

Government deploys additional defence resources to help fight NSW bushfires

Prime Minister Scott Morrison tours the NSW fire zones in a military helicopter. More ADF resources will be rolled out this week to help battle fires. Source: AAP

The ADF will deploy specialist personnel to each of NSW's fire control centres as part of the federal government's plan to contribute to firefighting efforts.

The federal government has deployed additional Australian Defence Force resources to support authorities in fire-hit NSW.

Specialist defence personnel will be sent to advise NSW fire incident controllers at each of the 14 control centres around the state, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Friday.

Those personnel would be able to free up ADF resources such as bulldozers, bulk water carriers and troops for NSW firefighting use.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is briefed by CFS volunteers and the military at the Mt Barker CFS HQ in Mount Barker.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is briefed by CFS volunteers and the military at the Mt Barker CFS HQ in Mount Barker.
AAP

"We'll continue to do everything in our power to ensure our fireys have the resources and support they need," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison said the ADF was already providing numerous services for firefighting authorities including helicopter search and rescue, transport, accommodation, meals and refuelling.

The addition of defence personnel at NSW fire control centres would help coordinate ADF logistical support, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said.

Royal Australian Air Force bases were also supporting NSW's air tanker fleet.

Firefighters hose down a burning woodpile during a bushfire in Werombi, south-west of Sydney.
Firefighters hose down a burning woodpile during a bushfire in Werombi, south-west of Sydney.
AAP

"This behind the scenes support from the ADF frees up more of our firefighters to perform their specialised roles fighting the fires," Ms Reynolds said.

Two firefighters were killed and as many as 100 houses destroyed when bushfires ripped through NSW on Thursday and Saturday last week.

At least 873 NSW homes have been destroyed this fire season.

The government's deployment of additional ADF personnel follows their decision to grant Commonwealth public service workers at least four weeks paid leave to fight bushfires in a plan to get more "boots on the ground".

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