Shire rural fire brigades set to open their doors

Fire ready: Rural Fire Service volunteers clean up after the Kurnell fire. Picture: John Veage

Fire ready: Rural Fire Service volunteers clean up after the Kurnell fire. Picture: John Veage

The recent Kurnell fire should act as a ominous warning for people to get bushfire ready according to the Sutherland Shire Rural Fire Service.

Inspector Scott Deller said below average rainfall and warmer temperatures has led to dry bush which is the perfect environment for problematic fires.

This weekend is Get Ready Weekend where bush fire brigades from across the state will open their doors to the public to help people get bush fire ready.

‘’While fire agencies and land managers are doing their bit, it is important that residents do the same,’’ he said.

‘’Bush fire is not a problem just for government agencies, it is a shared problem.

“Nine out of 10 homes destroyed during a bush fire is due to ember attacks so property preparedness is one of the simplest things residents can do to prevent embers burning down their homes.

“Little things you do now can make a big difference during a bush fire.’’

That includes making a bush fire survival plan, learning the bush fire alert levels and where to get information about a bush fire burning near them.

There will also be activities for the kids who have the chance to explore the fire truck and hold a fire hose.

Inspector Deller said conditions were dry after a warm Winter.

“In the absence of rain, the bush fire risk is going to increase rapidly during Spring,’’ he said.

“Vegetation will continue to dry out, temperatures will increase and humidity will fall. This will create all the ingredients conducive for a significant and damaging fire.’’

Inspector Deller said the recent Kurnell fire should serve as a wakeup call for residents.

“The Kurnell fire occurred under relatively mild fire conditions, but still proved to be a challenge for fire crews to contain,’’ he said.

“We were discussing strategies and options on where we could pull this fire up, we identified a fire trail where we believed it could be contained. It was considered we had at least a few hours before it would reach this point, but to our surprise it reached the trail in less than an hour”.

He said that was concerning because the fire behaviour should reduce overnight but didn’t.

Get Ready Weekend will be held on September 16-17.

A full list of Get Ready events is available at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

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