Whether shielding African camps from wildfire or reducing fire hazards around leafy Canberra, this former Zambian safari guide is always protecting communities.
Rocky Simachila is one of 24 seasonal fire recruits employed by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service who will help with fuel reduction, hazard assessment and remote fire fighting when the looming fire season arrives.
"I've dealt with fire back home and the way we protected our camps was similar to what we do here," Mr Simachila said.
"I love that I got this job after moving to Australia so I can keep helping the community and taking care of nature. Being taken away from nature just kills me."
The ACT Parks and Conservation Service's seasonal firefighters provide additional resources to its 150 fully trained and fit permanent firefighters who assist ACT Rural Fire Service and sometimes ACT Fire and Rescue.
Mr Simachila's experience contributes to the most diverse team of seasonal firefighters that the service has had, according to ACT Parks and Conservation fire management officer Brian Levine.
"We have people from a range of countries and some with trades backgrounds, some who studied environmental science and some who worked with outdoor education groups," he said.
"A lot of our work is in prevention so it's not just about being big and strong to fight fires."
Crews need diverse skill-sets and experience even when they aren't on the frontline, he said.
"Hazard reduction burns can be tricky to control."
"We have very experienced people doing that stuff but there is always a risk [that things could go wrong]."
The seasonal firefighters take part in an intensive two-week training which covers basic fire-fighting, four-wheel driving, using chainsaws, advanced first-aid and general on-the-job duties. They get further training as their knowledge grows.
While they may not spend much time out on the field this bushfire season, which is predicted to be shorter than usual because summer will likely be wetter than normal, Mr Simachila said conditions could change in a heartbeat.
"This fire season to be fairly average and generally speaking you'd see a delay in its arrival due to the precipitation," he said.
"But the wetter weather could mean there will be increased fuel around, which means people should stay vigilant and make sure their places are protected."
Environmental science graduate Amanda Johnson worked on a small sheep farm in Mudgee before becoming an ACT Parks and Conservation seasonal firefighter three years ago and does a lot of physical fuel removal.
"We have so many appliances and crews that are quick to get on top of things," she said.
"There is a lot of preparation that goes into it this stuff that people might not expect."
ACT firefighters did 49 prescribed burns across more than 6600 hectares in 2015-16, more than 6000 hectares of strategic grazing, 120 kilometres of fire trail maintenance and 5511 hectares of slashing in urban areas.
They also did 397 hectares of physical removal of fire fuels as part of last year's plan.
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