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Bundeena RFS October Report
Sunday, 04 October 2009

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Bundeena's Rural Fire Service
brigade has had a busy couple of months and with the dire summer outlook it looks set to get busier.


Our brigade has seen a marked increase in the number of fires, both within our area of responsibility as well as across the state. Indeed, our brigade responded its Category 1 tanker along with crew to the recent Shoalhaven bushfire emergency, joining crews from other Sutherland brigades in the successful defence of property and eventual containment of the fire.  We have unfortunately seen some suspected arson activity in the national park, so we ask all residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or fire to the relevant authorities.

The Bundeena BFB has also participated in a number of hazard reductions across the Sutherland shire, as well as a few in the neighbouring district of Macarthur. These Hazard Reduction works were successfully carried out, and the aim of reducing the available fuel load for any prospective wildfire was ably completed. These hazard reduction works will continue for as long as weather conditions permit.

It is important for residents to note that El Nino has appeared to have settled in for at least until the end of the fire season. This means, that weather conditions could be especially conducive to bushfires, such as prolonged drought and drying out of vegetation as well as higher temperatures and stronger winds from the west. The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that the chances of meeting our average rainfall is only 45%, and it needs to be pointed out that we are now entering the dry season for our area, which means that average rainfall is not a lot. The Bureau also predicts that the chances of exceeding our average temperatures are over a staggering 80%. In light of this forecast, we implore all residents to prepare themselves by developing a bushfire action plan. A draft example can be found on the RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and looks at all factors such as how to prepare your property to deciding whether to leave early or stat and defend.

Should any resident require further information, or want to discuss how they can prepare themselves for the fire season you are more than welcome to visit us at our fire station on Sunday Mornings at 9am. Our experienced fire officers can provide advice and direct you in the right direction when it comes to making the tough decisions. But remember, these are decisions that must be made NOW, not when the fire is cresting Morgan’s Hill.

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Our 4 wheel drive personnel carrier was officially handed over to the brigade on September 12th 2009, at the opening of Engadine Rural Fire Brigades station. Our captain Ian Nightingale warmly accepted the keys from our Local member, and member of our Brigade Paul McLeay alongside the Minister for Emergency Services Steven Whan. The government’s commitment to the safety of the people of Bundeena and to the volunteers of the Bushfire Brigade is clearly reflected by the generous provision of this state of the art vehicle, enabling our brigade to transport equipment and crew to remote fire grounds.

The Brigade was also invited to participate in the Rural Fire Service Regional Exercises. These exercises enable brigades from across the Region East Area of NSW to participate in training which involves real fire, providing invaluable experience that can otherwise be only gained during a real wildfire. Our crew preformed magnificently and brought many complements of Sutherland Districts excellent training standards with them.

Finally, the Brigade also had its annual open day on Saturday 26th September at the fire station. Each year sees more and more people turn up, and this year was definitely no exception. Activities such as knocking down mock wooden fires with a real fire hose or painting were a massive hit with the children, while the adults watched movies on recent fires in the Sutherland Shire and Bundeena at the mini cinema. We also had a mock up house made up, and some practical demonstrations on what equipment people can use to help prepare their homes. Displays of photo and fire fighting equipment kept people busy also as residents were then given the opportunity to ask questions to senior fire-fighters and officers about the upcoming fire season and the implications for them.

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Days such as our Open Day prove to be as successful as they give residents the opportunity to find out more on how to be prepared for the fire season, while the children can learn from participating in our interactive displays. We hope that next year our Open Day is even more successful and entertaining, and we look forward to seeing you there.

We would like to finish our report on what’s been happening with the brigade with another request to the community. The indicators are all pointing to a long and difficult fire season. We only have 2 fire trucks, and cannot be everywhere at once. It is up to residents to help us to help you to ensure you are adequately prepared for the fire season, both physically and mentally. If you have any questions whatsoever, please either visit the website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or our fire station


PREPARE ACT SURVIVE

Bundeena Bushfire Brigade

Bundeena Bush Fire Brigade Logo 

serving the community for over 65 years

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