Latest fire season update
Friday, 28th June 2019
The final weeks of summer saw a spike in fire activity across the state. Conditions peaked on 12 February with a statewide total fire ban, temperatures in some parts of the state reaching the 40s, and strong winds gusting at nearly 100 kilometres an hour.
The Tingha Plateau fire (23,528ha), Bruxner Highway fire (7552ha), Wallangarra fire (42,087ha) and Linton fire (3,588ha) impacted on communities during this period. A total of 33 houses and 94 outbuildings were destroyed.
The season also saw deployments overseas to California and Canada, and interstate to Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. The deployment to Tasmania was the most prolonged interstate deployment in the Service’s history with 682 NSW RFS members deployed to Tasmania over 11 weeks. Many of the fires burnt vast areas of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area which required specialist remote area crews to access and control.
February also marked 10 years since Black Saturday, when bush fires devastated communities across Victoria. The NSW RFS joined communities across Australia to remember those lost and recognise the emergency services personnel who assisted.
People living in or near bushland areas now have access to a better display of hazard reduction burns happening near them.
Hazard reduction works that have been scheduled for the next week can now be seen on a map, including the proposed size, the land tenure and the dates of the planned works.
The latest climate outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology (July to September) points towards warmer and drier than average days for most of Australia. Warmer than average conditions in May across Eastern New South Wales has added to moisture stress in soils. This, combined with clear, dry nights may increase the risk of frost development in some areas. Frost may further damage drought –stressed plants creating a drying effect on forest and grass fuels.
This is a timely reminder to revisit your Hotspots property fire management plan, particularly those urgent things to get ready before this fire season. Have conversations with your neighbours about fire management planning and look for ways to collaborate together and complement one another’s work to achieve better bush fire risk management and biodiversity outcomes.
Get Ready Weekend will be held on 14-15 September 2019. Get Ready Weekend provides an opportunity for members of the community to meet their local firefighters, learn about local risk and understand what they need to do to prepare for the bush fire season. Look out for Get Ready Day activities being held at your local brigade station.
For more information on the weather outlook across NSW visit www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks
For more information on preparing your property see https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/prepare-your-property.