Minister urges public to remain prepared with ongoing dry conditions


The NSW Government and the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) are reminding the public to remain vigilant to the threat of fire, with more than 11,000 bush and grass fires recorded across the state so far this bush fire season.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant today discussed recent activity and forecast weather conditions for the remaining bush fire season at a briefing with NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and senior firefighters at NSW RFS Headquarters.

“I want to thank the firefighters and personnel from all of our emergency service agencies, as well as the support staff and volunteers, who have worked tirelessly this season and whose effort and dedication we will again rely on in the coming months,” Mr Grant said.

“While milder weather last week provided our hardworking firefighters with a well-earned breather after fighting 2,000 fires in January, conditions across the state remain very dry, with no indications of this weather pattern breaking. Any day with high temperatures and strong winds is likely to lead to increased fire danger.”

Mr Grant urged the public to help fire agencies by ensuring they remain prepared for fires.

“Fires ignite and spread quickly, which is why it is so important that you discuss and have a written bush fire survival plan. This way the entire family knows what to do and where you will go in the event of an emergency.”

“Mowing the lawn, removing flammable items from around the yard, clearing gutters and ensuring hoses can reach all corners of your home can make all the difference in a fire.”

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the season so far has been a busy one for firefighters, who responded to major fires in Sydney, Shoalhaven/Jervis Bay, Hunter, Mid Coast, Port Stephens, the Pilliga, Southern Tablelands, Mid Western and Tamworth/New England areas.

Since 1 July 2017, 11,182 fires have burnt 237,869 hectares, prompting seven Emergency Warnings and 25 Watch and Act alerts, most issued during significant fire activity in September and January, as well as 16 Total Fire Ban days.

“Firefighters, in particular NSW RFS volunteers, have selflessly devoted their time and energy to protecting lives and properties threatened by these fires. I thank them for their commitment and dedication to keeping their communities safe,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“All the while, crews have responded to dozens of motor vehicle accidents, house fires and rescues across the state.”

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