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Wind farm fire fighting concerns  

Credit:  Natalie Whiting | ABC News | July 11, 2013 | www.abc.net.au ~~

An Upper Lachlan Shire Councillor says wind farm proponents should have to make a significant fire fighting contribution to local communities, because of the risks they create.

Councillor Malcolm Barlow says he is concerned the Rural Fire Service will not be able to use aerial resources near turbines

The shire has six wind farms already built or approved, and another five applications pending.

Malcolm Barlow says the proponents of wind farm projects should have to make a significant fire fighting contribution to the local council.

He says aerial resources represent around 40 per cent of fire fighting capacity.

“Pilots are loath, understandably, to fly anywhere near wind turbines especially in smoky conditions,” he said.

“Apart from the visibility impact, there is the wake affect, the turbulence affect down wind from them.

“By and large pilots won’t go within even more than an kilometre of a wind turbine area when there’s a fire there.”

Councillor Barlow says proponents should make a significant contribution to local councils for fire fighting measures.

“They should make a contribution to the community in which they’re being placed, because they’ve placed that community in a greater risk of fire and in a decreased capacity to fight the fire.

“Currently, our information is around about 40% of fire fighting capacity is aerial and even higher in rugged areas where you can’t get the ground crews in.”

But the Rural Fire Service says aerial resources are only a minor part of its fire fighting efforts.

It is reassuring people in the region every effort would be made to fight a fire in the area.

Source:  Natalie Whiting | ABC News | July 11, 2013 | www.abc.net.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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