Firefighters call Delegate home

THE sleepy township of Delegate has over night increased in size thanks to the temporary establishment of the CFA Base Camp. 

On Thursday more than 200 firefighters set up camp in the usually quiet Bill Jefferies Park.

The camp is now the temporary home to hundreds of NSW and Victorian firefighters who are working tirelessly to control fires along the state boarder. 

CFA Communications Liaison Officer Chris Lewis said the camp is able to sleep up to 280 fighters. 

“What we have set up are a series of tents and a giant air-conditioned marquee,” Mr Lewis said. 

“Those work the night shift need to sleep throughout the day so they sleep in the marquee and the tents are for those that do the day shift and can sleep during the night.”

“We have done this all before and the camp usually lives in a warehouse in Altona until the need for it arises and we bring it out.” 

The large white marquee that is nicknamed ‘Telstra Dome’ has 120 stretcher beds assembled inside with a split system air-conditioning system placed every three metres to provide night shift fire fighters a comfortable rest between shifts. 

The Delegate base camp is one of two base camps established for firefighters, the second is based in Orbost.

Work Hire Australia  helped set up the large military style base-camp and also supported the fire fighters on the ground with meal packs.

Work Hire Australia’s Adam Townsend said that his staff on site do everything they can to make the firefighters stay as easy as possible. 

“The base camp has at any one time up to 40 support staff who are hired to make the firefighters stay easier,” Mr Townsend said. 

“We have 20-foot shipping containers with  various amenities, one is a shower block, one is a mobile kitchen, one is a cool room for food, a pantry and a laundry. 

“We fully cater for the fire fighters and we also have laundry staff to do all their washing so they don’t need to worry about a thing.” 

The base camp has a series of huge containers that convert to large kitchens where caterers prepare three meals a day for fire fighters on the ground. 

There are giant refrigerators and a series of mobile light poles along with more than a dozen generators to keep the base camp going. 

Tent city is home to weary firefighters.

Tent city is home to weary firefighters.

From Delegate Hill Firetower.

From Delegate Hill Firetower.