Now that we are experiencing much warmer and dryer weather, residents need to be more vigilant in reporting signs of smoke. Recently, during a visit to the outlet at the end of the walkway, I came across evidence of two recent fires, one of which was amongst long, dry grass. The stupidity of lighting a fire in such surroundings amazes me, as the majority of that area is extremely dry and, given the locality, accessibility would be difficult. All it takes is one preventative phone call. I would much rather investigate a potential hazard than have to resort to drastic action after an incident occurs. Afterall, prevention is better than cure.
Just before Christmas last year, the brigade spent three days helping to contain and extinguish a large scrub fire. This incident involved extensive use of helicopters with monsoon buckets and approximately 20 personnel. The implications of a major fire and the subsequent consequences are enormous. All fires have the potential to develop into large, expensive problems – especially for those who light them.
On a lighter note, a huge thank you to Mike Cotter, Dean Foster and Jason Douglas for the fishing club’s generous donation to the fire brigade. This donation certainly makes the operation and week-to-week running of the brigade easier.
One Sunday in February, we had the opportunity to participate in helicopter training with the Royal New Zealand Air Force. All those who attended had a great day. Nothing quite beats having a youngish pilot hover an Iroquois twice his age a few metres above your head, not to mention the flights over and around Rotorua. Many thanks to the Rotorua District Council for organising a very educational and fun day.
With the departure of some of the brigade members to university, etc., we currently have vacancies for five new members. Full training and uniforms are provided. The best donation you could give to the brigade, and your community, would be some of your time.
For those residents who don’t know where we are or how to contact us, please don’t hesitate to phone me on 362 8874.
Chief Fire Officer