Kangaroo Island community, firefighters prepare for bushfire season

OPEN DAY: Kingscote CFS brigade Captain Mike Swayne and members Mark Harte, Karen Fricke, John Holman and Ben Childs with new recruits Pierre Kruger and Jason Coleby at the station's open day on Sunday morning.
OPEN DAY: Kingscote CFS brigade Captain Mike Swayne and members Mark Harte, Karen Fricke, John Holman and Ben Childs with new recruits Pierre Kruger and Jason Coleby at the station's open day on Sunday morning.

The Kingscote CFS brigade held an open day on Sunday morning, inviting visitors into the station and handing out goody bags.

Captain Mike Swayne said the open day was about recruiting new, hopefully younger, members and also providing community members with information for their own bushfire safety plans.

Visitors were advised on how to be ready for the bushfire season, which began on Kangaroo Island early on November 15.

New CFS recruits Jason Coleby and Pierre Kruger are signed up by Mark Harte.

New CFS recruits Jason Coleby and Pierre Kruger are signed up by Mark Harte.

Along for the usual Sunday morning training and equipment check were two new recruits, Pierre Kruger and Jason Coleby.

If anyone is interested in joining one of the KI brigades, Sunday morning at 9am is a great time to visit your local station. Recruits of all ages and abilities are needed, not just to go out on fire grounds.

There will be another session to induct farm fire units at the Parndana Fire Station this Friday, December 6. Phone Cheryl May on 0427 596 013 to register. "We had 19 units turn up on the first session which was fabulous," she said.

Since September, 10 firefighters and incident management personnel from the Department for Environment and Water on KI have been deployed to the eastern states to assist in fighting fires, with a continued commitment until Dec. 20.

Local CFS brigades have not been asked to assist and KI volunteers remain on stand-by for any local emergency.

During Kangaroo Island's first ever declared Catastrophic fire day on November 20, 2019, CFS crews were on stand-by at stations around the Island.

CFS volunteer Karen Fricke packs goody bags at the Kingscote open day.

CFS volunteer Karen Fricke packs goody bags at the Kingscote open day.

The Islander last week ran letters from two concerned Dudley Peninsula residents. Kristy Tannebring queried who was responsible for cutting back long grass at the American Beach car park area, that may or may not be under the council's care and control.

Kathy Green meanwhile voiced her concern about fuel loads in Baudin Conservation Park on the boundary of the Penneshaw township.

The Islander understands the National Parks and Wildlife Service had recently inspected the park for the purposes of determining fuel loads and fire risks.

Earlier this year, the community was asked to participate in developing the 10-year Fire Management Plan for the Dudley Peninsula, along with the council and other government agencies. The plan is in the final stages of development.

Ultimately, the SA Bushfire Management Committee is responsible for developing the KI Bushfire Management Area Plan.

Clr Sam Mumford is the council representative and suggested anyone with concerns to contact the council inspectors, who would pass on the details to him and the committee.

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