RFS: The time to plan and prepare is now as fire season approaches


Fire season officially launches next Monday, October 1, and the Rural Fire Service is calling on people to make sure they’re ready for the danger period.

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Clearing out debris from gutters and clearing space around homes is towards the top of the list, as well as making sure fire extinguishers and fire blankets are on hand.


Spencer and Shaun Whiting, Holly Dean

However, RFS Orange brigade captain Ian Sutherland, who was on hand at a fire preparedness day on Saturday, said the most common and simple mistake people made was “thinking it won’t happen to me”.

“I think everyone thinks ‘it’ll never happen to me’ but we saw last year with Mount Canobolas that it does,” he said.

“In a suburban environment everyone should have smoke alarms, a fire blanket and a small fire extinguisher, if you’re on the outer areas of town you want a firefighting pump run off petrol, not electricity … a couple of hundred litres of water.


Marcus Ronan, Rochelle Hall, Erica Orange, Ian Sutherland, Liz Buckley, Mark Gray

“A good set of jeans, long sleeved shirt and some good boots.”

“Now’s the perfect time for people to take the time to check these things and get around their properties to make sure all their firefighting equipment is in order.

While the entirety of the state is in drought, the dry winter has meant there will be less undergrowth that has come through in the early part of spring.

“We’re still going to have bad fire conditions but the fuel loading’s not going to be as great as it has in previous years,” Mr Sutherland said.

“We’ll also have forests fires as we have far drier forests than we have in previous years.”

North West Orange brigade captain Mark Gray said people should look to download apps to keep themselves informed of fire conditions.

He also encouraged anyone with any questions to contact their local RFS branch or the Canobolas Zone itself.


*DISCUSS WHAT TO DO if a bush fire threatens your home. Make a plan with everyone about if you stay or leave.

*PREPARE YOUR HOME for bushfire season. Keep the grass low, clear out the gutters and have open space around your home.

*KNOW FIRE ALERT LEVELS. Keep an eye on the NSW RFS website and the ‘Fires Near Me’ app.

*KEEP CONTACTS of bush fire important phone numbers, websites and apps on your phone so you can stay up to date.