During September the weather aligned and the Hornsby/Ku-Ring-Gai district we were able to successfully complete two hazard reductions burn, the much-anticipated Banks Creek HR, which was split into 2 parts spanning from Calabash road to Chilcott road. It is safe to say the response from locals for this was positive. The last time the area had seen fire was back during the fires in late 2002. Many residents remember these fires vividly. The brigade has other hazard reductions planned for the area, that will continue to build on the work already completed.

Hazard reduction burns, or prescribed burns, are not the panacea to eliminating bush fire risk. It is the reality we face living in Arcadia. We are spoilt with land and sweeping views of Marramarra National Park, however when a bush fire occurs it can happen fast and without adequate warning to leave or prepare. These prescribed burns are one of many tools used to help reduce the risk of bush fires. Each year we urge our community to continuously prepare, modify, and practice their plans they have in place. This year is no different. The Bush Fire Danger Period, or fire season, starts on the 1st of October for the Sydney Metropolitan area and goes to the 31st March. Now is a great time to take advantage of the milder weather and make those property preparations and practice fire plans before summer comes.

It is important to know and understand the risks you face in your area. This includes vegetation, topographical features, and logistic limitations. Know your escape routes, know when to enact your plan, have multiple plans for different scenarios for example if you’re home and too unwell to physically defend, or if you’re away and can’t get home to remove livestock.

Did you know that the Arcadia brigade’s area of responsibility covers approximately 10,000 hectares and has approximately 43 fire trails, so it is very important that the brigade works with the community. The brigade held a street meeting in mid- September to engage with local residents where we were able to share what work we have undertaken and update every one of the plans we have for our local area in the coming months. If you were unable to attend, or have more questions, the station is open Saturday afternoons, or you can email us at [email protected]

Visit the NSW RFS website for information on plans, risks, and ways to improve your property au/plan-and-prepare

Do you want to join us? Volunteer today! [email protected]

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