ACTION STATIONS: Members of the Clarence Valley’s Rural Fire Service (pictured) are tackling fires north east of Coonabarabran.
ACTION STATIONS: Members of the Clarence Valley’s Rural Fire Service (pictured) are tackling fires north east of Coonabarabran.

Three RFS crews are fighting in foreign fields

CLARENCE Valley's dedicated volunteer fire-fighters are tackling fires on a foreign frontier this week.

Three Rural Fire Service tanker trucks left the region on Sunday for Coonabarabran, where they are now assisting in the containment of a scrub fire burning at Oxley Crossing, 35 kilometres north east of Coonabarabran. They were followed by a crew of 12 volunteer fire-fighters and one staff member, who flew into the township yesterday morning.

NSW RFS Clarence Valley district manager, Superintendent Stuart Watts, said the local crew would be deployed to whatever area required the most amount of work.

An update from the RFS website showed the Oxley Crossing fire had burnt through 4594 hectares of land by 11am yesterday.

"The (volunteers) were itching to get going," Superintendent Watts said.

"It's not the first time they've been out of area, and it won't be the last, but they're quite keen to help their fellow fire-fighters in need."

Superintendent Watts said many of the volunteers were not long returned from South Australia, where they assisted with a fire near the Mount Lofty Ranges."They have come back, rested up, and off they go again," he said. "The level of experience with the crews is fairly high - there's good mixture of newer members there well supported by older members."

The Clarence Valley crew is expected to return this weekend after completing its five-day deployment.

Superintendent Watts said additional local resources may be required at the end of the week, depending on the level of fire activity.