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Rodwell All-terrain Water Tanks

Water tanks helping bushfire preparedness in Bombala

The 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires had a devastating impact on the New South Wales community of Bombala. During this time, Managing Director of Rodwell Logging, Peter Rodwell saw an immediate need to make use of the resources available to fight fires.

“The 2020 fires were that serious we had to change the way we were going about things. The best thing for us was to use the existing industry,” said Peter.

Rodwell Logging received $1.25 million from Protecting Our Communities (Disaster Resilience) Program. This funding was used to build 4 specialised firefighting tanker units for deployment onto logging equipment. The tanks are carefully designed to be attached to specialised logging equipment which can access fires and hotspots in terrain inaccessible by conventional equipment.

Through this funding, Peter brought his idea to life by repurposing forestry machinery used in the community, by adding a custom tank to a forwarder.


Peter Rodwell


A forwarder is a tractor consisting of an operator's cab and a log bunk. In communities like Bombala, forwarders are used to pick up and cart logs out of harsh terrain. This makes them the perfect durable machine for fighting fires.

Peter's design uses a custom water tank that fits inside the log bunk on the forwarder. This water tank includes a water cannon that can fire up to 140 litres of water a minute, ranging up to 40 meters.

In the case of an emergency, the operator can use a reserve tank of water from a safe distance.

"This means if the operator gets in a tricky spot, he can hop out of the forwarder and operate the device from a safe distance." said Peter.

This is one of many innovative ways that funding from the Protecting Our Communities Program has been used to create more secure, stronger and resilient communities before, during and after crises.