Defence calls time on bushfire assistance

By AAP Newswire

Defence personnel are formally withdrawing from bushfire operations after helping emergency services respond to the months-long crisis.

More than 6500 Australian Defence Force personnel - including 3000 reservists - were engaged at the peak of the emergency.

While most troops will be redeployed on Thursday, some others will continue to provide ongoing support to non-emergency operations.

Defence personnel helped clear more than 4850 kilometres of roads and repair more than 1285 kilometres of fencing after the devastating summer bushfires.

They also cleared more than 240 kilometres of fire breaks and produced nearly 10 million of water for Kangaroo Island and Bega.

More than 77,000 meals were provided to evacuees and emergency services workers on Defence bases.

The Defence operation began on New Year's Eve and spread across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.