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Bundeena RFS March Report
Monday, 29 March 2010

The latest update from Bundeena's Rural Fire Service.

Summers over but the preparations are not

Well, what a summer of differences! With the end of the fire season arriving at the end of this month, we can almost breathe a sigh of relief. Despite record temperatures and lack of rainfall for large swathes of NSW during early summer, 2010 has shown it to be a year of humidity and above average rainfall, a welcome forecast for any fire-fighter and resident.

With more rain forecast over the autumn period, it would be a logical time to take stock of what preparations need to be undertaken to start getting ready for the 2010/2011 bushfire season. First and foremost however, now is the perfect time for resident to review their bushfire survival plans. Take note of the lessons learnt from the fires which resident of Western Australia and Northern NSW endured. Re-evaluate what strategies you will undertake and ensure your family and neighbours are well aware your intentions.

With such a humid and moist summer, plant growth has been high as you can tell by the rapidly growing lawns and greenery on the roadside through the National Park. This is going to have a significant impact on fuel loadings on and around town, so it is important for resident to ensure any fuel build up is removed promptly. Here are some things you should be doing:

  • Check your gutters regularly; this will make the job much quicker and less disgusting then if you leave it for longer periods between cleaning. While on the roof, check to ensure your gutters are leak proof, and check to see whether your leaf gutter guard is still firmly affixed to the gutters.
  • Remove excessive fuel loadings from your gardens, especially those properties that back onto the bush.  It will only take the smallest ember in a pile of bark and leaves to ignite it.
  • Maintain a firebreak on your property. This could be a well maintained lawn, clearing of vegetation and removing or reducing ground fuels.
  • Check under and around you home for any gaps, particularly ventilation shafts, in which embers could enter your home. During the off-season, invest in metal guards to cover these holes. An investment of $10 could be what saves your home in a bushfire.
  • Check the condition of any hoses, pumps and fire fighting equipment you have on your property. Test your roof top sprinkler system, ensure your hoses can reach around the entirety of your home and have metal adapters connected to them. Ensure any fire fighting pumps and equipment is in good working order, you would want to find these faults now, not while a wildfire is heading towards you.
  • Go over your emergency equipment box. Check that you have adequate batteries, a torch, a battery powered radio, drinking water and natural fibre clothing that covers your entire body.

For more helpfully tips on what you can do before the next fire season, please visit the NSW Rural Fire Website and follow the links www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Recent Activity

The brigade has seen the number fire calls, car accidents and other service calls increase this year compared to previous years. Thankfully, none of the call outs have been to life threatening situations or bushfires in our local area. This is a trend we hope to continue.

Recently crews from the National Parks and Wildlife service have conducted some mechanical fuel reduction works around Bundeena and along the roadside in the Royal National Park. These important measures in reducing fuel loads are welcomed by the brigade, which is involved in ongoing discussions with representatives from the NPWS for additional works that needs to be undertaken. The brigade will continue its positive and strong working relationship with our colleagues from NPWS throughout 2010 to help manage hazard reduction works.

Interested in volunteering?

For anybody who is interested in becoming a volunteer bushfire fire-fighter, or wishes to become a support member of our brigade, now is the perfect time to join. Our brigade is particularly seeking members of the community who have a MR truck licence. All training as well as PPE is provided at no cost to the volunteer. You will receive a nationally recognised qualification at the completion of entry level training, with opportunity to climb the ladder. Future opportunities in fields such as aviation firefighting, community education and fire-ground leadership and management are all possible to those who wish to pursue them.Image

Our brigade trains every Sunday morning for 4 hours, and we ask all volunteers to attend at least 1 training session per month.

If the exciting opportunity of becoming a fire-fighter appeals to you, why not come down to our fire station on a Sunday morning and speak to our experienced fire officer about your future in the NSW Rural Fire Service.  Prospespective members who wish to be active fire-fighters must be aged over 16 years, while a cadet program exists for those aged 14 and older.

Thank You!

ImageOn a final note, the brigade would like to extend our thanks to the Caringbah Bunning store for their continued support of our brigade. Along with their recent donation of equipment to the brigade, Bunnings continues to support the brigade by allowing us to conduct fundraising BBQ’s at their store. Recently, our Captain Ian Nightingale presented Operations Manager Daryl Kelleher and Activities Manager Kylie McNeilly with a certificate of appreciation for their efforts.


Bundeena Bushfire Brigade

Bundeena Bush Fire Brigade Logo 

serving the community for over 65 years

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