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Fire fighting in the Cairngorms National Park

2nd March 2006

A specially designed course to enable individuals to understand fire behaviour and to predict how a wildfire situation will develop took place in Strathspey today (Thursday 23 March).

Organised by the Cairngorms National Park Authority’s (CNPA) Land Based Business Training programme, and co-ordinated by Dave Lambie of Terradebosc International Fire Training, the course on ‘Fire Behaviour – Applying Tactics’ was held in Kincraig.

15 delegates from the gamekeeping, forestry, farming, and conservation sectors attended the practical course, which gave participants an understanding of how such factors as the lie of the land, weather and vegetation conditions influence and effect fire behaviour. Learning and applying tactics to deal with these factors will make fire suppression a more effective and safer operation.

Delivered by Marc Castellnou, Chief Fire Officer of GRAF Bombers, Catalonia, and Matt Davies of Edinburgh University, the course is the third in a series of courses that have covered various aspects of wildfires, and fire control.

Kate Christie, the Land Based Business Training project manager said: “With several wildfires in the Cairngorms National Park in the past few years, this course is very relevant and because it is seen as a public benefit, it is free for those working in the land-based sector. This particular course follows neatly from the courses that we have already run, through Michael Bruce of Firebreak Services, on tackling wildfires, and on the supervision of fire plans. Demand for this type of training is extremely high.  With so many areas of outstanding conservation value in the Cairngorms National Park it’s essential that those working in the land based sector are well trained and well equipped to tackle wildfires.”

Funded by the CNPA and the European Social Fund, the Land Based Business Training Project encourages all those working on estates, farms, crofts, nurseries, woodlands – in fact any business related to the management of the land – to apply to the scheme.  The initiative is open to anyone working in a land-based business in or adjacent to the Cairngorms National Park.

Training courses cover a wide range of needs including the use and maintenance of machinery, equipment and vehicles; environmental courses; IT and business skills and health and safety.  In addition, training courses that will provide public benefits – such as the fire behaviour course – are fully funded by the programme.

For more information on the Land Based Business Training project please contact Kate Christie or Sam Masson on tel: 01479 870535 / 537 or email: [email protected] / [email protected]