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Firefighters increasingly fatigued as fire season expected to continue until March

Australian firefighters say they don’t know how they will continue to battle bushfires amid a marathon fire season, which is expected to go on until March.

As bushfires continue to rage across New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, both volunteer and paid firefighters are growing weary.

Brian McDonough from the Rural Fire Service Association tells John Stanley some have been fighting fires since September 6 in northern NSW.

“It still amazes me the commitment that we’ve been able to get from our volunteers.

“Typically it’s a five-day rotation. So it’s a day’s travel, three days on the fire ground, and then a day’s travel home.”

But he says he doesn’t know how people will continue under such harsh conditions.

“My suspicion is that there will be very, very light crews on Christmas Day… it’s going to be a challenge.

“People are just so busy at the moment that we don’t have time to induct people into the organisation while we’re busy fighting all these fires.

“Unfortunately we’re looking at March, maybe April before we get a break.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill is also worried about the stretched resources, commending the firefighters working non-stop to control enormous blazes in the north and south of the region.

“They are just incredible people – bone-weary, but ready to go again.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

 

Image: Getty/David Gray

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