By Peta Gormly
The 2021-2022 Bush Fire Danger Period commences for Greater Sydney on the 1st of October 2021.
With this, residents within the Hornsby LGA will require 2 forms of permission to conduct a pile burn, one from Hornsby Council available on their website, and one from Hornsby Fire Control Centre by calling on 9883 2000 during business hours.
Once you’ve received your permissions, you will still need to notify NSW RFS along with your neighbour’s a minimum of 24hrs before lighting that pile. You can provide notification by contacting the RFS by visiting www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/notify or scan this QR code.
As the Bush Fire Danger Period is due to commence, have you made your Bush Fire Survival Plan? It is important to make one that all occupants of the property, including children, know and understand.
These plans need to include different scenarios, for example, a fire starts quickly and you’re unable to leave, or you’ve been prevented from returning to your property to get your belongings and pets. It is important to have a plan for your pets and livestock too, which needs to include transport options, safer places, and first aid after a fire.
Do you know your risks? Fire can behave differently due to terrain types and weather. Embers can cause spot fires kilometres ahead of the main flame and can get lodged in small spaces within your home and can start a new flame there. Basic home maintenance is an effective way to preparing for fire.
This can include cleaning gutters, repairing missing or damaged roof tiles, fixing seals around doors and windows, keeping lawns and gardens well maintained, and removing leaves, twigs, and other debris around your assets. Other risks can include your availability of water. Will your water tanks be routinely filled and easily accessible by property occupants?
It is important to also prepare yourselves! This includes physical, emotional, and mental preparedness. Leaving early is always your safest option. You should have vital information, documents, medications, and phone chargers together so you can collect them easily.
If you leave early, you should have some safer places decided upon away from your residence. You may see public areas with a sign saying, “Neighbourhood Safer Place”, however, these places are usually a place of last resort, there is also no guarantee of fire protection or basic amenities.
Take the time now to download the Fires Near Me app to your smart device with a watch zone set to your area of interest. You should also familiarise yourself with the alert levels and flame danger ratings.
Arcadia, Fiddletown and Berrilee, ready communities are strong and resilient, let’s do our part in preparing for bush fires to keep our community safe.
Visit the NSW RFS website rfs.nsw.gov.au to download your bush burning survival plan, learn about your risks, brush up on the alert levels and danger ratings, and read the fact sheets on a number of different topics including livestock and pets, travelling, and bushwalking.