By Peta Gormly - Arcadia RFS
As 2020 comes to an end it is safe to say it has been an interesting and different year. We experienced some of the worst fires NSW has seen at the beginning, followed by flooding and storm damage, to be then faced with Covid-19. Each of these events have been trying on communities but the resilience of communities shone through.
We were fortunate our area was not directly impacted, but the community spirit has truly been alive in Arcadia, Berrilee and Fiddletown, with residents helping each other throughout. From the generous donations of food and water for our firefighters during the fire season, cards with messages of encouragement, to meaningful conversations, we have been at the receiving end of community spirit. Most importantly, our residents have been proactive with their fire safety and bush fire preparations.
2020 threw many challenges at the brigade, but with the support of the community and our district, we were able to have some sort of normality and recommence training, whilst adhering to strict Covid-19 protocols.
We were able to successfully complete hazard reductions with others being prepared in the area and district and hold a community street meeting in September. It was great to see our messages of safety and continuing to prepare for bush fires were being heard. Residents came armed with their plans and questions on how to improve their plans. Despite the challenging nature of this year, we were able to continue the conversation with the community about preparedness.
Pile burns have always been a topic of conversation, as to what permit is needed, when it is needed, and if you need one. During the bush fire danger period (1st October – 31st March) residents require permits from the NSW RFS and Hornsby Council.
Between 1st April – 30th September, residents require a council permit. There are guidelines that the pile burn must adhere to in regards to size, types of vegetation, when it can be burnt, notifications to neighbors and the Fire Control Centre, and the use of flammable fuels, e.g. petrol, to light pile burns are banned. Whilst this past year has been challenging for all of us and we would like to wish you and your families a safe and prosperous Christmas and New Year, we look forward to continuing our work alongside you all.
If you have any questions, or if you feel that you would like to join the brigade please email us at [email protected]