SA manufacturer joins forces with Country Fire Service to enhance firefighting efforts

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Kimberly-Clark Australia (KCA), a prominent manufacturer in South Australia, has stepped up to assist the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) in its firefighting efforts during the Fire Danger Season.

In particular, KCA has made significant contributions by providing access to a large water treatment pond at its Millicent paper mill, enhancing firefighting capabilities in the area, the company said in a media release.

As part of the CFS’s preparedness measures, open water sources near fire-prone areas are evaluated to determine their suitability for use by firefighting aircraft.

These sources play a crucial role in swiftly delivering water to fires, particularly in dense forest regions such as Mount Burr and Tantanoola, where containing fires early is essential.

Adam Carpenter, Mill Manager at Kimberly-Clark Australia, emphasised the company’s commitment to supporting the CFS and the local community.

He stated, “We understand how important CFS’ service is to the region, so when they asked if we could support aerial firefighting activities by providing access to a clean water source, we were quick to say yes.”

Carpenter highlighted the successful trials conducted at the treatment pond, affirming its safety and accessibility for the CFS fleet.

Nik Stanley, manager of State Aviation Operations for the SA Country Fire Service, expressed gratitude for the partnership with KCA, noting its significant advantage in firefighting operations.

Stanley remarked, “The opportunity for us to use the water treatment ponds at Kimberly-Clark’s Millicent Mill will provide us with a significant advantage in our firefighting operations in the south-east of South Australia during the bushfire season.”

The collaboration between KCA and the CFS coincides with the launch of a new fleet of aerial firefighting aircraft in South Australia’s Lower South East.

This fleet includes three Air Tractor AT-802 fixed-wing bombing aircraft, two Squirrel helicopters, and one Blackhawk Helitak 515 helicopter.

The addition of the Blackhawk Helitak 515 introduces a new capability to access suitable open water sources for rapid hover filling, further bolstering firefighting capabilities in the region.