Defence Force help remove dangerous trees following bushfires

Australian Defence Force personnel are working with Blue Mountains City Council and the Rural Fire Service to clear dangerous trees in the Upper Mountains following the bushfires.

Sapper Matthew Serretta, Private Nick Kelchine, Council's emergency management program leader Peter Belshaw, Mayor Mark Greenhill, Lieutenant Edward Pym, Council's natural area management program leader Eric Mahony and Sapper Aaron La Rosa at Mount York.

Sapper Matthew Serretta, Private Nick Kelchine, Council's emergency management program leader Peter Belshaw, Mayor Mark Greenhill, Lieutenant Edward Pym, Council's natural area management program leader Eric Mahony and Sapper Aaron La Rosa at Mount York.

A small Australian Defence Force unit joined council officers in the Mount York area on January 9 to lend a hand. After two days of work they moved on to Bell. Planning is also underway for them to visit Mount Wilson and Mount Tomah.

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said assistance from the ADF, as well as the NSW RFS, since bushfires struck the Upper Blue Mountains just before Christmas, means council was making good progress on clearing dangerous trees.

"Council has completed around 800 tree assessments on public land, and this process is about 80 per cent complete," said the mayor. "Officers have checked trees along 27km of bushfire affected road.

"We are also undertaking rudimentary erosion control given heavier rain is predicted towards the end of the week, and the ADF are also assisting with that.

"These partnerships, with the ADF and primarily with the RFS, mean we are in a good position but there is still a lot of work to do."

Grose Valley bushfires affected areas in Blackheath, Mount Victoria, Bell, Mount Wilson, Mount Irvine, Mount Tomah and Berambing on Saturday, December 21.

"Council staff have also worked tirelessly to support the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) in a range of ways since bush fires first threatened our City in December," said the mayor.

"Council has had emergency service and communications staff stationed at the Emergency Operations Centre in Katoomba. We have provided traffic management for numerous road closures, delivered water carriers, met extra waste needs and helped run the RFS community meetings last week.

"Although the fire threat is still not over, we are now moving into recovery with our affected community and so we will assist our community during that process, however long it takes."