Territory Stories

The drum : the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services magazine



The drum : the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services magazine


Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services


The Drum; E-Journals; PublicationNT




This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Northern Territory Police, Fire And Emergency Services -- Periodicals; Police -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Northern Territory Government



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4 | The DRUM Magazine | August 2009 Keeping the NT Fire Lighting Free With almost six months a year without rain, understanding how bushfires start and the best way to combat them is critical knowledge for our local firies. Recently, bushfire investigator Ralph Smith was flown in from Western Australias Fire and Emergency Services Authority to help teach our NTFRS to better understand fire behaviour and its effect on local vegetation. Participants were also tasked with investigating each others fires to determine where and how the fire started. NTFRS Acting District Officer, David Pettit is already a trained structure fire investigator but was keen to learn the new skills required to investigate bushfires. David says that Territory firefighters are very aware that the majority of bushfires they respond to are caused by human activity. More than 70% of fires are unexplained and deemed to be a result of human intervention, he said. Therefore, its great to see that the Fire and Rescue Service, along with Bushfires NT and Police have taken a proactive approach to catching bushfire lighters across the Northern Territory. The training included how to quickly identify and protect the area where the fire was most likely to have started. Investigators can then be called in to determine the cause and provide a comprehensive report for the prosecution should the suspected fire lighter be identified. To catch fire lighters we need the cooperation of local witnesses said David. Some one will usually see something that will fit together with other evidence to lead us to the fire lighter, so community involvement is paramount to our success, he said. On completion, 15 firies from across the Territory became nationally accredited bushfire investigators. Report suspicious behaviour and do your part to Keep the NT Fire Lighting Free by calling 131 444. Top Fifteen NT firies took part in the recent Bushfire Behaviour Course run by Western Australias Fire and Emergency Services Authority. Below left to right NTFRS Acting District Officer Dave Pettit with Western Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authoritys bushfire investigator Ralph Smith during the training course. One of the aims of the course was to teach firies how to find the source of a bushfire.