As official fire season finishes, firefighters continue flood assistance


Today marks the official end to the 2021-22 fire season, which has been capped off with firefighters across the state assisting more with floods than fire.

NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Rob Rogers said this season, like the last, had been welcome relief in terms of fire activity.

“NSW RFS crews and other agencies have responded to 5,465 bush and grass fires this season burning 101,089 hectares across NSW,” Commissioner Rogers said.

“While the expected risk of grass fires west of the divide did not eventuate, due to increased rainfall, most of the state was spared from significant fire activity, with only three Total Fire Ban days declared.

“This season our members have also attended almost 800 structure fires and more than 3,100 motor vehicle accidents.

“Volunteers have also spent considerable time assisting communities affected by storms and flooding.

“Over recent weeks, in addition to local brigades, NSW RFS members have been deployed from across the state to work in communities such as Lismore, Ballina and the Hawkesbury.

“These Out of Area members and Incident Management specialists have been supporting the NSW SES and providing vital assistance to residents, often being deployed numerous times since the start of this emergency event.”

Commissioner Rogers said while there was some reprieve as water levels dropped and debris and mud was removed, with returning rain and the current situation it is clear that there is still a lot of work to do.

“We have had around 800 members tirelessly working in flood-affected areas each day and specialist crews in our helicopters have conducted 78 flood rescues,” he said.

“Our members will continue to provide support where it is needed.

“While the official fire season may have wrapped up, we are now looking at preparing for the next season, and the heightened threat that increased vegetation will ultimately bring.

Commissioner Rogers said all emergency services personnel, especially NSW RFS members, have given their all through in the last two years, dealing with covid, floods and fires.

“I thank our members for continuing to provide the same high level of protection that the people of NSW have come to expect,” Commissioner Rogers said.

“We continue to thank our members’ families, colleagues and employers for allowing our volunteers to do what they do so well.

“It’s important to remember that fires can occur at any time of the year so keep your property prepared and have your bush fire survival plan up to date and discussed with those in your family and household.”

Attached files:

Contact Name: State Duty Media Officer

Contact Phone: (02) 9898 1855