As Australia faces what is expected to be one of the worst bushfire seasons in years, concerns are being raised over the declining numbers of volunteers available to fight the likely catastrophic blazes.
- As Australia faces what's expected to be one of the worst bushfire seasons in years, concerns are being raised over the declining number of volunteers available to fight the likely catastrophic blazes.
Queensland has already seen homes evacuated and thousands of hectares of land scorched this month. The Rural Fire Service Queensland is tasked with protecting 93% of the state, but has only 26,000 members-- a drop from 36,000 just four years ago.
RFBAQ's general manager Justin Choveaux told Yahoo News Australia, "We have never run out of brigade members before, but there is a desperate need for more volunteers to lighten the load."
Choveaux blames the barriers for volunteers as one of the reasons for low numbers. He explained the hoops you have to go through and the time it takes, people give up. People can't get in and are treated poorly, and that's what we have to change.
Unfortunately, fewer volunteers also means the current volunteers will burn out so much sooner. Choveaux pleaded, "If you're a brigade member who has left, please consider coming back."