Fire Season Update 2013-2014
Tuesday, 15th April 2014
We had an early start to the fire season, with over 5,000 bush and grass fires reported in NSW during the period 1 July to 31 December 2013. In September and early October, fires threatened homes in the Taree, Great Lakes, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Cumberland areas.
By mid-October conditions had deteriorated and destructive fires were burning through many communities in the Blue Mountains. These fires destroyed 210 homes and damaged a further 200. Significant fires in the Southern Highlands, Central Coast and Port Stephens also saw damage to property and sadly two lives were lost.
In late October, with conditions worsening, a state of Emergency was declared in NSW. Residents around the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury were asked to leave early. All schools in the Blue Mountains LGA closed on 23 October, and all National Parks across the state were closed. Overnight, a small amount of rain dampened the fire ground which brought relief to communities and fire agencies. The hard work of Remote Area Firefighting Teams and RFS volunteers saw no further losses, and minimal expansion of existing fires.
High temperatures returned to NSW in January and further property damage from fires near Forbes, Yass, Tumut and Corowa. In February, rain across NSW saw the threat of fire ease. As we head into the cooler months, now is the time to start thinking about preparing your home and property for the next fire season.
For more information on the 2013/14 fire season, check out the latest edition of the Bush Fire Bulletin
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