More than 120 extra National Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters will be on the ground before the next bushfire season in NSW.
A $22.9 million boost from the NSW government will see the additional 125 NPWS firefighters increase hazard reductions in and around the highest risk areas across the state.
The funds will also go towards an additional helicopter to help aerial firefighting teams.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said targeted hazard reduction plays an important role in reducing bushfire risk.
“The scientific evidence and experience of the last bushfire season is clear – extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and the level of bushfire risk will continue to increase,” Mr Kean said in a statement on Monday.
The funding will help the NPWS to increase its aerial rapid-response firefighting teams by up to 80 firefighters, giving a boost to the teams deployed into remote and rugged locations.
“One of the remarkable achievements of our NPWS remote area fire crews has been their ability to extinguish fires early, even in very remote locations, preventing them from becoming larger and more dangerous fires,” Mr Kean said.
“The NPWS aerial response capacity was also critical in saving the Wollemi Pine.”
In the past seven years, 79 per cent of hazard reduction burning in NSW occurred in national parks, led by the NPWS working with the NSW RFS and other agencies.