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RFS January 2009 News Roundup
Thursday, 19 February 2009

Bundeena Bush Fire Brigade Logo
A hot January kept the Bundeena Bushfire Brigade busy during the month as they responded to several incidents.

Summer has arrived!!

Searing temperatures, low humidity and strong north westerly winds, and of course, the acrid smell of bushfire. Yes, summer has well and truly arrived in style this year. With a mild December bringing little rainfall, we are facing the growing threat of bushfire as the undergrowth continues to rapidly dry out. January hit with a bang as the number of 30 degree plus days soared, and the number of electrical storms also rapidly increased. The bush around Sydney is primed for fire, and now the question is not if a bushfire hits, but when.

Unfortunately, a number of areas around Sydney have experienced frightening bushfires with section 44 bushfire emergencies declared around Hornsby and Londonderry. Though a number of homes were threatened in these areas, NSW RFS volunteer fire fighters with the help of external agencies protected lives and property, and as a result no homes were lost.

The outlook suggests that warmer than average conditions along with reduced rainfall will persist into early autumn.

Around the Town news

IGA Cheque Presentation

On Saturday 13th December 2008, the owners of the Bundeena IGA, John and Maria, presented the brigade with a substantial  donation from the community chest program. Donations such as these enable the brigade to purchase equipment not supplied by the local and state government (such as extra hose) and to cover operating costs (such as phone bills, oxygen bills etc).
The community chest  is an IGA program where a percentage of money sold from specially marked items is placed in the “Community chest”. The owners of each local IGA then choose a local organisation to make the donation to. The brigade would like to warmly and publicly thank the IGA for their ongoing support, and would also like to thank the community as well for their support in the community chest program.


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Santa Claus returns to Bundeena

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On Christmas Eve, the Brigade took Santa for a run around the town to say hello to the local residents and children alike. Much to the enjoyment of the local children, Santa also handed out lollies as we patrolled around the streets. We would like to thanks Santa for taking the time out to help the brigade, as well as the local residents who came to meet Santa. We would like to thank the IGA for generously donating the lollies for the Santa Run. We hope that Santa makes another appearance next Christmas, so keep your eyes open!

Brigade Incidents and Activities

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Motor Vehicle Accident, 18th January 2009

At approximately 12.30pm on Sunday 18th January, the brigade was called to a report of an accident on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive, near Chinamens Bends. Upon arrival, the brigade encountered a nasty accident involving  a motor cyclist. Fortunately, while nobody lost their life, the motor cyclist was rushed to hospital with serious injuries. This accident serves as a sombre reminder to all road users that accidents can occur at any time, and you must remain focused when driving. Ensure you keep motor cyclists in sight and change your speed to suit the conditions.

Bush Alight, Bundeena Drive, 21st January 2009

On a hot and humid Thursday afternoon, the development of severe thunderstorms was inevitable. Intense electrical storms moved from the west over the royal National park and a number of grounds strikes were observed by POLAIR. It is believed one of these lightning strikes north of Tall Timbers, near the Maianbar turnoff was the cause of a small brushfire that rapidly spread through the tinder dry undergrowth. While some isolated rain did fall, it was barely enough to take the dust out of the air as fire continued to burn, though not as intensely. Working quickly, crews managed to contain and extinguish the fire in less than 2 hours, an incredible feat. While 1 hectare of bush was scorched, it was clear that had the fire not been reported until later, a much more serious situation could have developed particularly with forecast temps of 35 degrees the following day.

Bush Alight, Waterfall,
21st January 2009 (Related Story: Royal National Park Firebugs Arrested)

On Wednesday afternoon at approximately 1500, a series of fires appeared to have been lit in the Waterfall area along Mckell Avenue. The resultant 7 hectare Blaze saw at its peak over 70 RFS Volunteer endure extreme temperatures and terrain in an effort to contain this blaze. It is extremely fortunate that this fire was burning away from homes and property. The Bundeena Brigade sent a crew on the Thursday to help mop up any remaining hot sports and prevent flare ups.

How to protect your home

We ask all residents to remain proactive and vigilant over the fire season to help prevent bushfires. There are a number of simple things you can do to significantly increase your homes chances of surviving a bushfire. Most homes are lost when small embers lodge under eaves and slip through small holes and cracks in the walls. Therefore, it is important that you prevent these entry points by:

  • Clearing your gutters of leaves and installing leaf guards
  • Seal any vents with fire proof metal meshing
  • Install metal flyscreens on doors and windows in case they crack in the fire
  • Clear under the house of any combustibles

Others steps you can take to prepare your property include:

  • Have a bushfire action plan ready that details what you and your family plan to do BEFORE the fire arrives
  • Keep you lawns mowed, this acts as a great fire break
  • Clear your yard of combustible debris
  • Store flammables away from the house
  • Ensure your secondary water source( such as a pool) has a petrol driven pump
  • During the fire, wear long sleeve natural fibre shirts and long pants, along with solid boots, goggles’ and a face mask. Don’t climb on the roof, and ensure you drink plenty of water

There are plenty more tips and advice available from your local fire station (for Bundeena, opposite the service station and next to the NSW Fire Brigade station. Pop on down on a Sunday and have a talk to a local firey. Alternatively, you can contact the RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and download the fire safety pamphlets.

Recruitment

With so much fire activity (our call out rate has increased 500% compared to this time last year); we are in desperate need of volunteer fire-fighters and truck drivers. If you want to make a real difference and help protect your town, please come down to our station or email us at . We will provide full uniform and training; we hope to see you soon!

serving the community for over 65 years

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