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Rural property owners join fight against bushfires in new trial

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Rural property owners could double as firefighters in a bushfire emergency if a new trial enjoys success. 

NSW landowners have less than two weeks to register for a scheme designed to enhance rural firefighting capabilities.

The collaboration is between Transport for NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service and will enable the use of private Farm Fire Fighting Vehicles (FFFVs) without registration. 

Vehicles will however need to meet specific eligibility criteria.

Also known as Farm Fire Units (FFU), nominated FFFVs will need to comply with stringent guidelines, including the permanent attachment of fire-fighting equipment, operation within a 100km radius of the storage address, as well as being maintained in safe operating condition. 
 
These measures will ensure that while not registered, these vehicles are adequately equipped to assist in emergency situations and contribute effectively to firefighting efforts. 
 
Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib is urging rural property owners across NSW to make the most of the trial before nominations close on 31 March. 
 
“Landholders in rural areas can play a key firefighting role and this trial allows us to test an arrangement that rural advocates have been calling for,” he said. 

NSW bushfire season
Rural property owners have a new way to help fight fires – legally.

“By allowing farmers to collaborate more seamlessly with the RFS in safeguarding their properties and those of their neighbours, this arrangement could enhance the state’s bush fire capabilities.” 

NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers says landholders often serve as initial responders in rural firefighting efforts.

“Allowing eligible farm fire vehicles to operate without registration ensures a more swift and coordinated response during emergency bush fire incidents,” he stated. 

“With high grass fuel loads across the state, getting on top of fires as soon as we can is crucial to minimise loss and damage. 

“The Bush Fire Danger Period is still in place for most of NSW, so it is timely that those who can take advantage of this opportunity do so.” 

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