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Our firefighters

Some NSW national parks are only accessible by air. When it comes to fire management, NPWS maintains special aircraft and firefighting crews specifically trained for working in remote places. This ensures short response times for combatting wildfires and effective hazard reduction burn operations over large areas.

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Rapid response firefighters have proven highly effective at combatting the spread of bushfires. As a result, 92 per cent of bushfires that begin in NSW national parks are also contained in them, and nearly 80 per cent of fires in NSW national parks have been contained to an area of less than 100ha.

To achieve this, firefighters and aircraft are strategically positioned across the state. Working with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), our crews are able to reach wildfires in the shortest time possible, protecting life and property. The major cause of wildfires is lightning strike, so the ability to quickly respond in remote areas greatly reduces the size, spread and impact of these fires.

Each year, over 1,200 NPWS staff members undertake specialised training and skill accreditation – recognised Australia-wide under the Public Safety Training Package. These staff members are available for emergency response to wildfires or to carry out hazard reduction burns when the weather is right.

NPWS also maintains a fleet of dedicated vehicles, aircraft, and heavy machinery, along with over 14,000km of fire and access trails.

Parks related to this program

World Heritage Drive, Nattai National Park. Photo: Johh Spencer