The 1st of April saw the end of the Bush Fire Danger period, after a long fire season for many parts of Australia. Due to the dry conditions, the season started a month early for Sydney. We had crews deployed to a number of fires, including interstate deployment in Queensland. Now that we have entered into those cooler months, it is just as important to continue with the same vigilance our community so excellently displayed throughout summer. The NSW Rural Fire Service reported that firefighters responded to over 10,517 bush and grass fires. Remember, there are still rules and guidelines residents must follow whilst planning and conducting any pile burns. If we receive a triple zero (000) call, we will be visiting! You can find your pile burn guidelines on your council's website.
Arcadia and Galston were called to another incident of powerlines down due to fallen branches towards the end of March. A small portion of Bayfield rd was closed for a short period of time whilst the energy authority promptly attended the incident. Whenever you come across any powerlines down, please treat them as live. This means to stay away from them, and avoid driving through them or under low lying power lines.
In April we had the opportunity to speak to 145 year 5 students from Waverly College at Vision Valley. This is a presentation we thoroughly enjoy giving. The students had a number of engaging questions in regards to fire behaviour, our role within the community, and our operational readiness. Our area is unique in comparison to where they reside, so the fire risks they may potentially experience can be very different to what the risks are in Arcadia. Members also attended the Empire Marina exercise held at Bobbin Head. It was a multiple emergency agency training exercise that saw NSW RFS, FRNSW, Police, and Ambulance participate in a scenario where fire spread from buildings to boats. More than 100 personnel were involved in the mock fire exercise.
April also saw the end of day light savings and with that we tell everyone to check their smoke detector. Have you checked your smoke detector and changed the batteries? It is important to be prepared for a house fire as it is to be prepared for a bush fire! Make sure you and your family know safe ways out of every room. It is helpful to also have a written escape plan that is revised continuously as your family grows and changes. It is vital to keep clothing at least 1 metre from heaters and fireplaces, and never leave unattended. If you have a fire place, ensure the chimney is clean. Smoke will make you confused, and you cannot smell smoke whilst asleep! Crews responded to an electrical fire involving solar panels in mid April, it is vital for home owners to have these, and other battery systems maintained and checked. For more home fire safety information refer to the NSW RFS website and the Fire & Rescue website.
Hazard reduction preparations are still ongoing in the area. If you see us out and about, be sure to say g'day! If you've ever considered joining you can send us an email at email@example.com you'll have a great time, and be a part of a community centred team!
Fire & Rescue fire safety smoke alarms - https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=80
NSW Rural Fire Service Home Fire Safety - https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/home-fire-safety