The Rural Fire Service, other fire brigades and the NSW Emergency Services Minister are behind a major drive to make residents take precautions against what could be a seriously challenging bush fire period.
NSW – and more particularly our part of it – has had the driest winter in 15 years.
That followed the 2016-2017 summer in which NSW experienced some of the worst bushfire conditions on record, according to Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant, who says: “we need to ensure households and families are prepared for the worst-case scenario this summer”.
Few will forget the horrific Sir Ivan fires that erupted in February – and others in more distant places.
There were 100 bush and grass fires burning in NSW on Wednesday. That is a big and frightening number.
The Orana RFS says fires in the region are starting “very, very easily” and “people need to take care in whatever they are doing”. It is already taking two to three calls a day to attend fires.
It is a tinder box out there.
The “people” who need to take care are … all of us.
And the care starts with paying attention and doing the right things.
There will be some in the community who will take the attitude: “We’ve heard it all before”.
But, have they listened and acted?
Have they taken the simple precautions that can save lives and property?
The fireys warn that use of any machinery that can cause a spark poses a fire risk. So why take a chance. Each year some residents ignore the warnings and start fires. When the blaze is going and the firefighters are there it is too late to say: “I didn’t mean this to happen”.
“I’m sorry” or “I should have done as I was told” don’t stand up when flames are licking at the the family property and there is no bushfire (or other fire) survival plan and the preventative clean-up of flammable materials at farming properties or residential homes has not been done.
The RFS is holding a series of “Get Ready” events where residents can find out how to prepare for the bushfire season. Take advantage of them and the wealth of information on RFS and NSW Fire and Rescue websites.
We owe it to our loved ones and the people who often risk their lives on our behalf to keep us safe. Stick to the rules and warnings.
Ignoring them could be deadly.