20 Feb 2009

Victorian authority on why it didn't deploy all firefighters

9:26 pm on 20 February 2009

Victoria's Country Fire Authority has defended the way it handled the state's bushfires, which killed at least 208 people on Saturday 7 February..

The United Firefighters Union says a decision by the CFA not to deploy up to 1200 professional firefighters may have cost lives.

But CFA deputy chief officer Steve Warrington says it is not appropriate to send some crews to such fires.

He says crews without the correct trucks or expertise in fighting bushfires were used for asset protection or on standby in other communities across the state.

Charge over claim

A woman who is said to have pretended her father was a victim of the Victorian bushfires has been charged with fraud, after trying to claim grants.

The Melbourne woman, 31, is accused of fraudulently trying to claim $AUS10,000) as a bereavement grant from the bushfire appeal fund.

She is also accused of trying to get $AUS5000 from the funeral fund set up by social services agency Centrelink.

The bushfire appeal denied her claim after checks found she was not related to a man killed in the fires.