We are now well into the 20/21 fire season and obviously iit’s been a bit wetter and cooler than last year.
But we all know weather conditions can change quickly (last weekend is a good reminder) and so continued diligence is required.
There are a number of scenarios that pose fire risks for our island community including ember attack from fires on the mainland – especially in the Ku-ring-gai National Park. Managing these risks requires coordinated effort from the Brigade, including the Community Fire Unit, and residents.
Here are some tips to help you prepare and stay prepared for the remainder of the bush fire season:
- Make sure you have a plan – you can access resources to help you plan here
- Prepare your property by keeping your roof and gutters clear and the area surrounding your house free of fine fuel. Take advantage of the current fine fuels collection being offered by Northern Beaches Council. Remember, the current collection is scheduled for February 1. There are some more tips on preparing your property here
- Check the operation of any fire fighting equipment you have including pumps and hoses
- Keep your water tanks full and if you can, fit a 38mm storz fitting to your tank to help us access water quickly and easily
- Get in touch with your Community Fire Unit Sector leader (details below) and talk about your plan and preparations with them and your neighbours
- Talk to your Sector Leader about the location of your nearest CFU Cabinet and the equipment it contains
- Download the Fires Near Me app on your phone and stay informed about Fire Danger Ratings and nearby fire incidents. There have been some updates to the app since last year – including new alert levels icons. You can read about these here.
In the event of a fire
- If you see a fire and there is no fire crew in attendance call 000 immediately
- Stay up to date with what is happening – listen to ABC radio, watch for emergency alerts sent by text to your mobile phone and check the Fires Near Me app
- If you have advance warning of the fire, follow your plan, if not, shelter from the initial fire front until it passes
- If your plan is to leave, leave early. It may be difficult or impossible to leave if you leave it too late. Let people know you are leaving
- Only stay if your property is well prepared and you are physically and mentally fit. Defending your home will be physically and mentally challenging
- If you are staying, make sure you are dressed appropriately and finalise the preparation of your property by clearing and filling gutters with water, closing doors and windows, filling buckets with water, getting hoses and pumps ready. Take shelter when the fire front approaches and extinguish spot fires after it passes
Your Community Fire Unit Sector Leaders
Scotland Island has been divided into sectors and sectors have Community Fire Unit teams and leaders. Each team has a WhatsApp group they use for staying in touch and sharing information. We encourage all residents to contact their Sector Leader and make sure they are included in one of these groups.
Details of Sectors and Sector Leaders are:
- Cargo: Meredith Rasdall 0402 121 184 & Gail Mackenzie 0412 767 687
- Florence: Alan Gaines 0411 211 190 & Colin Batt 0414 514 254
- Tennis: Greg Roberts 0411 489 885 & Penny Wise 0413 313 747
- Bell: Shane May 0409 838 498
- Carols: Sue Blezard 0405 473 148
- Elizabeth Park (East & West) CB Floyd 0407 066 419
Joining the Brigade
If you are keen to help more then consider joining the Brigade.
Joining the Community Fire Unit requires a commitment to 1 day initial training and 1 day training every 3 months.
Joining the Brigade as a regular fire fighter requires a commitment to initial training and 1 day training each month. We are starting another initial training program on Sunday 31 January.
Regular Brigade members can also join the Community First Response team to assist NSW Ambulance with medical emergencies on the island.
For further information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9999 4404