Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers have sacrificed time with their families to fight the state-wide bushfire in Tasmania.
There are currently six firefighters from the Southern Highlands on the ground, with more volunteers on standby to travel interstate if required.
The bushfire has burnt more than 205,000 hectares of the state and created a combined fire perimeter of more than 1700km.
Highlands volunteers have joined other RFS groups from across Australia.
The volunteer firefighters are in Tasmania on five-day rotations.
Some volunteers have offered to do two rotations to assist further with the firefighting efforts.
Firefighters will continue to be sent to Tasmania throughout February, unless weather conditions significantly improve the situation.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) community safety officer Inspector David Stimson said the Highlands group was eager to assist.
“The Southern Highlands RFS team is very proud of its volunteer members who put their hands up to help,” Inspector Stimson said.
“It’s an indication of the passion of our people to help their communities.”
The firefighters have undertaken an arduous firefighting program.
This involves firefighters carrying a heavy pack and travelling for a certain distance in a certain amount of time.
The test assesses overall fitness and endurance levels.
“It’s commendable that they’ve taken the time to get themselves qualified to be able to go,” Inspector Stimson said.
“You’ve got to take into consideration they’re going into rough country. You need to have a good or high level of fitness. We’re only sending people who are qualified as arduous firefighters.”
Forecast rain over the coming days will continue to ease the fire risk across Tasmania and allow Tasmanian Fire Service incident controllers to reassess their resources to put them to best use.
It will also give many crews an opportunity to gain some well-earned rest.
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The Southern Highlands RFS team is very proud of its volunteer members who put their hands up to help.David Stimson