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Be Prepared: RFS urges action during Get Ready Weekend

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“The time to prepare is now, not when a fire is at your front door.” 

That’s the message from emergency services ahead of the RFS Get Ready Weekend. 

With the forecast of a hotter, drier summer ahead, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is urging Hunter residents to prepare their homes ahead of bushfire season. 
 
The middle weekend of September is the group’s annual prompt for raising fire awareness and encouraging preparedness through various events at RFS stations across the state. 

It also marks a fortnight ahead of 1 October when NSW enters its Bush Fire Danger Period – a potentially dangerous time that has already begun a month earlier than expected for 38 LGAs. 

fire
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers.

Prolific vegetation growth has already has the RFS concerned. 

“As weather heats up and the landscape dries out, the threat of serious fires is quickly returning,” NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said. 
  
“Thanks to an extended period of wet weather and prolific growth, NSW is now facing its worst grass fire risk in two decades. 

“RFS volunteers are already working hard to contain fires across the state, with crews responding to more than 2,000 bush and grass fires since the start of July. 
  
“While our firefighters are doing everything they can, including undertaking hazard reduction burns and undergoing training, preparation is a shared responsibility and property owners need to do their part, too.” 

NSW RFS brigades across the state will be hosting up to 600 events this weekend (16-17 September), with residents encouraged to talk about what they can do to get ready for bush and grass fires.  

Events will include firefighting displays and opportunities to climb aboard a fire truck and check out specialist firefighting equipment.  

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said Get Ready Weekend was also about knowing the risks that could lay ahead during the warmer months. 

“After three years of widespread rain and flooding, we’re now asking the people of NSW to turn their attention back to the risk of bush and grass fires,” he said.

“Recent research shows that 70% of people living in bush fire prone areas have some sort of plan for what to do during a fire, but worryingly less than half had done any preparation work on their property. 
 
“The first step in getting ready is knowing your risk, and local brigades can help you this Get Ready Weekend.” 
 
“Volunteer firefighters will be available this Get Ready Weekend to talk about the simple things you can do to reduce your bush fire risk, like cleaning out your gutters, trimming overhanging branches and completing a Bush Fire Survival Plan. “ 
 
“The time to prepare is now, not when a fire is at your front door.”

Rural Fire Service

Community members are urged to take five simple steps to reduce their bushfire risk: 

  • Trim overhanging trees and shrubs. 
  • Mow grass and remove the cuttings. Have a cleared area around your home. 
  • Remove material that can burn around your home, such as door mats, wood piles and mulch. 
  • Clear and remove all the debris and leaves from the gutters surrounding your home.    
  • Prepare a sturdy hose or hoses that will reach all around your home.

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