PLEASE SEE TALLONG RFS WEBSITE FOR CURRENT notifications and information: [Tallong RFB website]
TALLONG’S GET READY WEEKEND -Prepare for Bushfire, 14-15 September, 2019- All Residents are encouraged to attend!
Due to the lack of rain this past few months you will notice there is a lot of dry leaf matter and the like around your home and surrounds, This makes it vital that you do a cleanup at your home to help keep you safe. The official bushfire danger period will start early this year [see Tallong website for dates] we all have to do our bit and prepare our community for another hot and dry summer. Following are a few things to do to play our part in keeping the local community safe this season.
As with every year, we urge the Tallong Community to prepare early and not wait until it’s too late, this means having an effective bushfire survival plan in place. With a number of apps and online tools making this easier than ever and also adhering to the following list of essentials.
* Clean gutters of leaves and twigs
* Maybe install metal gutter guards
* Cut back overhanging trees and shrubs
* Have hoses long enough to reach around the house
A more extensive list is available on RFS website.
1. PREPARE -This includes having an up-to-date bushfire survival plan for you and your property.
2. ACT -Take heed of fire danger ratings and total fire bans and their implications. Keep yourself informed.
3. SURVIVE -Ensure you know whether you intend to leave early or stay and defend your property.
Fact sheets and helpful guides for you to follow these steps are available at….www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/resources/factsheets.
If you are planning on conducting a pile burn YOU MUST ENSURE YOU FOLLOW ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS!
We also stress that during the fire season you cannot burn without a written permit. Also, you must heed all ‘Total Fire Ban’ and ‘No Burn Day’ declarations which mean even with a permit you still cannot burn. Burning without a permit can result in fines and/or criminal charges being laid by the NSW Police.
It’s always worth remembering that fires can start from very simple sources. Major events like lightning, downed power lines and electrical faults do start fires but a careless cigarette butt, spark from a cutting tool or heat from an exhaust can also easily start a fire. This is why using machinery such as mowers etc. is not advisable on ‘Total Fire Ban’ days, and is a bad idea on hot days in general. Proper maintenance and cleaning can also help prevent fires, so keep this in mind when next you use your tractors, chainsaws, grinders or mowers around your home.
Burning off during fire season
No Permit = No Burning!
During the bush fire danger period, you cannot conduct any burning activity without the issue of a fire permit through the RFS. Gaining a written permit is easy (see the Tallong RFS website) for legal requirements . It is also required that you notify all neighbours, even those across a road, at least 24 hours before you burn.
You also must ensure that when you burn, you should have appropriate tools on hand such as rakes and shovels, sufficient water and hoses and perhaps sand or dirt to properly extinguish the fire after the burn or to control it if needed. Remember – IT IS AN OFFENCE TO LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED
Also, no accelerants should be used and protective clothing such as gloves and long clothing should be worn.
Please also check if a total fire ban or no burn day is in force on the day you burn. All permits are suspended on a total fire ban day, so even if you have a permit, you cannot burn.
For more information see the fact sheet ‘Before You Light That Fire’ available at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
Assessing your fire risk
How Well Prepared Should You Be?
Preparing your property before or early on in the fire season increases its resilience in the face of a fire event this season. Assessing your property’s risk is a good way to consider what things you should prioritise whilst preparing your home or business. Some things to look for while assessing your property include:
- Are you close to bushland with high fuel loads?
- Do you live in a designated bushfire prone area (such as much of Tallong)?
- Are you situated on a slope or ridgeline? – Fire runs quicker uphill.
- Do you have tracts of vegetation on or running to your property?
- Do you have combustible materials near structures such as bushes/shrubs, woodpiles, building materials, waste piles or leaf litter in gutters?
- Do you have limited or hazardous access to your property – can a fire truck reach you with ease?
- Do you have enough water for firefighting or are distant from firefighting services?
If you answered yes to some of these, then you need to prepare your property NOW! The RFS website (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au) and the Tallong RFB have fact sheets, checklists and other publications available, so jump online or drop into the station Tallong RFS meet every Tuesday at 7.30pm and all are welcome to attend.
Volunteering and Training with the RFS
New Members and Enquiries are Always Welcome
The brigade is always welcoming of any new members or questions about volunteering that you may have.
Joining the brigade is easy and opens up many opportunities, such as learning new skills, meeting new people, access to the extensive RFS training programs and the chance to assist your community.
This year, the brigade is actively encouraging any interested community members to take the step of coming to a brigade meeting and joining us in the RFS. We all have valuable experience and skills to share, so why not join us and put back into your community?
We especially would like to invite younger members of our community to come along and be part of our activities. Remember, you can get nationally recognised training not just in firefighting skills, but also:
- First Aid;
- Chainsaw Operation;
- Communications; and
just to name a few.
Being in the RFS also lets you meet new people and establish great friendships. You can even invite your friends and join and train together!
Also, being in the RFS isn’t all about fighting fires. So, even if you think you’re not up to being on the fire ground, we also need members for essential catering, communications and administration roles to assist our crews.
If you are interested in joining, just drop by the fire shed after 7.30pm on any Tuesday night and we will be happy to help you out!