Back-burning: fighting fire with fire

Rural Fire Service volunteers across New South Wales spent the night working hard, back-burning ahead of bushfires in the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and the Hawkesbury.

The efforts of one crew, working near Faulconbridge, were captured by 702 ABC Sydney’s John Donegan.

These guys are volunteer firefighters from the Rural Fire Service

They’re back-burning in the Blue Mountains

The idea is to reduce the amount of flammable material available ahead of the main fire front

It’s called ‘back-burning’ because the controlled fires are directed back towards the fire front

They use ‘drip torches’ to start the fires

Then let them burn out or put them out before they get out of control

Back-burning is different to a ‘controlled burn’, which is done in cooler months to reduce fuel build-up

This crew is back-burning around Faulconbridge, but other crews worked through the night in the Southern Highlands and the Hawkesbury

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