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Third Forestry firefighting crew on ground in Victoria

FORESTRY Tasmania has just sent its third crew of firefighters to help fight the Victorian bushfires.

The first crew of 19 firefighters and 11 vehicles travelled to Victoria on Monday February 9, following the devastating February 7 bushfires.

They were part of a 90 member Tasmanian contingent and were deployed in fireground operations working night shifts at the 93,000 hectare Yea Murrindinidi fire and the 25,000 hectare Bunyip fire, which were among the worst affected areas.

The original crew was replaced by a second 18 person team which flew to Victoria on Thursday, February 12.

The third rotation crew travelled to Victoria on Sunday February 22 and will remain there until Friday or Saturday March 6 or 7.

The crew has been deployed to the Kilmore East/Murrindini South area where the bushfires destroyed the townships of Kingslake and Maryville, and is working on a section of the fire line between Warburton and Narbethong that has been of particular concern to fire authorities.

The crew is working midday to midnight shifts, patrolling the fire perimeter and back burning to remove unburnt fuel within containment lines in the O’Shannassy and Murrindindi Divisions.

As well as firefighters on the ground in Victoria, FT staff have contributed to the firefighting effort by helping to prepare vehicles, getting gear together and driving firefighters to catch their flights. The vehicles were shipped to Victoria by the TT Line free of charge.

The Forestry Tasmania assistance is part of long standing formal mutual aid agreements with Department of Sustainability and Environment.