Despite recent wet weather, Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne and District Fire Control Officer John Hojel are urging residents living in or near bush fire prone areas to prepare themselves, their families and homes for a threat of bush fire this season.
Mayor Byrne said residents need to know what they will do if faced with a bush fire emergency.
“While firefighters and emergency agencies continue to do everything they can to keep our community safe, preparation is a shared responsibility and I encourage all residents, if they haven’t already, to start preparing themselves in case of a bush fire,” Mayor Byrne said.
“Preparing for a bush fire is an easy process and starts with a simple conversation with your family about what you can do if a bush fire was to start nearby.
“A fire can happen anywhere at any time. Embers can travel great distances, across properties and even up to 30 kilometres in the worst conditions. So we cannot afford to be complacent,” Mayor Byrne added.
Deputy Mayor of The Hills Shire, Councillor Robyn Preston said to ensure the safety and protection of you and your family, it is important you write down your bushfire survival plan and take action to reduce the fuel loads and potential fire dangers around your home.
“It takes just 20 minutes to sit down with your family and discuss what you will do – stay and defend your property or leave early. If you stay and defend, ensure you and others in your home are fit to do so,” Deputy Mayor Preston said.
“Do not leave at the last minute and drive through the path of fire.”
District Fire Control Officer John Hojel said there were a number of simple actions that residents can do to prepare their property in case of a bush fire.
“Trim overhanging trees and shrubs. Mow your grass and remove the cuttings,” Superintendent John Hojel said.
“Remove material from around your home that can burn or catch embers like door mats, woodpiles, mulch and outdoor furniture.
“Clear your gutters and have extra water on site (such as a tank or pool) – diesel or petrol pump and hoses that can reach all elevations of your home.”
Anyone wanting to conduct a burn during the Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) must contact their local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre or local fire station and apply for a free permit.
Heavy penalties, including fines up to $2200, apply for landholders who do not follow BFDP restrictions and rules.
Visit rfs.nsw.gov.au, call the Hills District Fire Control Centre on 9654 1244 or download Fires Near Me or the My Fire Plan app.