NEWS THAT MATTERS

Bush fire danger period begins

with greater grass fire risk

The Central Coast is being warned of a greater risk of grass fires after recent wet weather with the official bush fire season beginning last Saturday (1 October 2022).

4 October 2022

 

MINISTER for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the Bush Fire Danger Period is commencing in 92 local government areas across the State.

 

“While a focus remains on flooding, which has been ongoing in parts of the State for more than 12 months, it’s important we also stay prepared for bush and grass fires,” Ms Cooke said.

 

“The rain has triggered rapid vegetation growth, which is going to become a threat as it dries out. All it takes is a few days of hot, dry and windy weather for fire conditions to deteriorate.

 

“Grass fires move at three times the speed of a bush fire which is why communities need to be aware of the risks and ready to respond.”

 

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said with more rain predicted over spring, grass and crops will continue to flourish, bringing added risk.

 

“Recent rain has led to good grass and crop growth across the State especially in western areas of NSW and we have already seen more than 1,000 grass fires across the State since July,” Commissioner Rogers said.

 

“It is important if you work, live or visit bush fire prone areas that you update and discuss your bush fire survival plan and know what you and your family will do if threatened by fire this season.”

 

Fire and Rescue NSW Acting Commissioner Megan Stiffler is reminding people planning to travel to be aware of the risk of fast-moving grass fires.

 

“Before travelling, check the weather and fire danger ratings for that area and make a plan to leave should a grass or bush fire take hold,” Acting Commissioner Stiffler said.

 

“With long weekends and especially over holiday periods, check if a Total Fire Ban has been declared and use barbeques and campfires safely and responsibly if allowed.

 

“We urge people to remain vigilant. While firefighters and emergency agencies will do everything they can to keep the community safe, protection is a shared responsibility and everybody needs to play their part to be fire safe.”

 

Landholders who want to light a fire during the Bush Fire Danger Period are required to obtain a permit, in addition to notifying their local fire authority and neighbours 24 hours in advance. On days where a Total Fire Ban is in place, all fire permits are automatically revoked.

 

Information about fire permits, required notifications and hazard reduction burning is available at: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/BFDP.

 

To make a bush fire survival plan, visit: www.myfireplan.com.au.

 

Innovative tech put to the test

 

High-tech sensors which can predict and detect fires and clean energy solutions for bush fire-affected communities are among five innovative ideas being piloted under a landmark NSW Government research and development (R&D) program.

 

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the Bushfire Technology Pilots Program, a total of $6 million over four years, will support trials of field-ready bush fire technology developed by NSW businesses.

 

“NSW is a world leader in bush fire technology and this NSW Government investment is unlocking opportunities for homegrown innovators to test their potentially life saving research,” Mr Henskens said.

 

“We’re investing in these innovative technologies so that NSW can remain at the cutting edge of bush fire technology, and save lives by enhancing bush fire preparedness and response.”

 

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the grants on offer through the Bush Fire Technology Pilots Program cover multiple components of a bush fire response, including providing power to remote sites, real-time monitoring of fire conditions and data-sharing.

 

“The investment being announced today will put innovative technologies to the test so that one day they can be used by our emergency services in NSW, as well as organisations across Australia and the world, to save lives and improve the way we respond to disasters,” Ms Cooke said.

 

NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the wide range of work funded through the grants reflects NSW’s position as a global leader in bush fire technology.

 

“These projects will be collaborative, with grant recipients working closely with lead NSW fire response organisations, including the Rural Fire Service, Fire & Rescue, NSW Telco Authority, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Planning and Environment,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

 

The program is the first initiative to be rolled out under the Bushfire Response R&D Mission, a recommendation of the NSW R&D Action Plan.

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