Winter has made its mark and is definitely here for 2019.
This serves as a timely reminder to ensure your home is safe as we look forward to using fireplaces and heaters to stay cosy, and a way to dry clothes when the laundry pile builds up. Everyone loves the ambiance of a crackling fire place, but have you made sure your flues are clean? Chimney fires can happen quickly and occur due to the build up of residual creosote from unburned gases. This can appear as sooty powder, gummy residue, or a hard glaze. A chimney sweep will be able to help you clean your flue. If you've got an open fire place, keep a screen in front of it to reduce the risk of being burnt, especially if you've got children or pets around while ensuring that embers don’t roll out. It is important to keep all materials, be it curtains, bedding, clothing, wet or dry, a minimum of 1 metre from the heater.
Winter is also the time of year you will see many of your neighbours conducting pile burns. We would like to remind all residents to obtain the appropriate permit from council and adhere to the pile burn guidelines. It is important that you inform your fire control centre (Hornsby 9883 2000) that you're lighting your pile and to also inform your neighbours. If we receive a triple zero (000) call, we will need to inspect it. Hornsby shire residents can apply of a pile burn permit online via the council website. Even though the temperatures are considerably lower compared to summer, you still need to ensure that it is safe before lighting that pile. Those gusty winds we experienced last year in August are one example why you need to stay vigilant. You must also have an adequate supply of water on hand, to ensure the pile is controlled and can put out any embers. These cooler months are also an excellent time to prepare your property prior to the 2019/2020 fire season.
Through the power of social media, the brigade was made aware of felled trees blocking access to a fire trail in Arcadia. Members were out there promptly to remove the tree and regain access. It is vital these trails remain clear to allow access in case of any emergency. If you see any trails blocked by trees or other obstructions, please report these to Hornsby Fire Control Centre immediately on 9883 2000
In early May, the brigade attended the Arcadia Market day. This was a particularly special market day as it commemorated 125 years of Arcadia. The primary school opened up a 25-year-old time capsule, which included old editions of the community news and letters from previous students. We had both our trucks and PC there, but we also had a special guest, Puff the Tragic Wagon, and her crew.Puff is a 1942 blitz wagon that was once Arcadia's, in 1959,before going to 'The Gorge' brigade in 1966. The Gorge brigade is now known as Hornsby Heights. We took this opportunity to showcase our history, but also learn more about where our brigade has come from. Arcadia was originally part of the 'Outer Sydney Bush Fire Brigade' in 1941. It was formed after terrible fires destroyed a number of orchids in 1939. In 1952 the brigade branched out into the respective Galston and Arcadia-Berrilee Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades, and in 1966 the fire station was opened at Arcadia Park. After many years of growth, and 13 years of fundraising, the current station's grand reopening was in 2007. The brigade has been a part of Arcadia's history for many decades and will continue to be a part of the community. Arcadia will be celebrating 80 years in 2021. More of Arcadia's history can be found on the Arcadia History website. If you have any photos, stories, or history surrounding Arcadia's fire brigade, please send them into us at email@example.com
Arcadia History - www.arcadiahistory.com.au
If you'd like to learn more about Puff and their future events, you can visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PuffTheTragicWagon/
Further information on wood fires and chimney fires - http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/woodheaters-and-woodsmoke
Looking for a pile permit? https://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/environment/flora-and-fauna/fire-management2/fire-permit-application
More home safety facts and tips can be found on the NSW RFS websitehttps://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/home-fire-safety