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RFS Warns Residents to Prepare
Wednesday, 05 August 2009

Bundeena Bush Fire Brigade Logo
The Rural Fire Service is warning residents of a warmer than normal spring ahead with suggestions on how to prepare for it.


On the back of the driest July in 5 years, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are now telling us that El Nino has returned. The last major El-Niño event, during 2005-2007, saw Sydney’s water supplies drop to a worrisome 31%, and over 95% of the state affected by drought. Forecasts for August indicate that the month may experience rainfall levels above the long term average. However, given that August is traditionally one of the drier months of the year; this may not eventuate into record breaking rainfalls. In fact, the worst possible thing could be enough rainfall to encourage the growth of grasses, only to have it dry out during what is shaping up to be a long and protracted summer. The increase of fuel loads only serves to increase the risk of devastating bushfires like those shown in the picture above from occurring.

The BoM is predicting a much warmer than average spring, with the chances of exceeding our maximum long term temperature an 80% likelihood of occurring. Combined with a mere 35% chance of reaching our average rainfall, it is not looking good for our lead into summer.

Such dire weather forecasts mean it is more important than ever to ask yourself “are you prepared for summer and bushfires?” Especially on the back of what has turned out to be Australia’s worst bushfire in Victoria earlier this year, it is critical for resident to start preparing their properties to minimise the risk of losing your lives and property.

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Actions you could take include:

  • Clearing your gutters of leaves and debris, and installing “gutter guards” to prevent the build up of potentially combustible material
  • Maintain a short, green lawn as a potential fire break
  • Clean up any loss lying leaf litter and scrub, which if left would serve as excellent ignition points during an ember attach
  • Develop a bushfire action plan, and ensure all members of your household know what to do
  • Check to ensure that you have hoses with metal fittings, and that the hose can reach all the way around your property
  • Close up any gaps under your house that could allow embers to enter and ignite combustible materials

What any homeowner should also have in bushfire prone areas is adequate home and contents insurance. Check to ensure that you have the correct level of cover and that any new item your have recently purchased are covered. By taking out insurance, it will give you piece of mind if you do choose to self-relocate, as any of your physical belongings can be replaced. Remember, you pay good money to ensure your property can be replaced, but no amount of money can replace a loved one.

If have any queries about what you can do to prepare your home, or want somebody to give your property an assessment as to what you should do to prepare you property, come down to our fire station on a Sunday morning. The volunteer bushfire brigade would be more the happy to give you a free assessment and point you in the right direction as to what you can do to prepare yourself and your home for this upcoming fire season

The recent royal commission into the black Saturday fires in Victoria has lead to many questions as to what the NSW policy is on bushfires. To read more on whether to stay and defend your property, or go early to safety, visit the NSW RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and follow the links. Also available is a plethora of reading material on what to do before, during and after a bushfire strikes.

WE NEED MORE FIREFIGHTERS, IS THIS YOU?!?!

Our brigade is made up of volunteer fire-fighters of all ages and backgrounds. We need more men and women to help us defend our community from bushfires, support our operations with fundraising and catering and to help prepare for the fire season with hazard reduction and community firewise programs.

We have a position for anybody willing to give up a little bit of their time on a Sunday for training. You will be fully trained and given a nationally recognised certificate, along with full personal protection equipment and your own locker.

We really need more fire-fighters to ensure that we can defend our town to the best of our abilities. If you’re “man enough” to join, come down on a Sunday morning around 9am, and fill in an application form. Your will make friends for life, and get to do something really “cool” with your lie.

What are you waiting for???
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 Bundeena Bushfire Brigade

serving the community for over 65 years

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