Hazard reduction burns help reduce bushfire risk in Wollondilly

Hazard reduction burn in action. Picture: Melissa Adams
Hazard reduction burn in action. Picture: Melissa Adams

The weather might be starting to cool down but Southern Highlands Rural Fire Service (RFS) Superintendent Martin Surrey has urged residents not to get complacent about bushfires.

Dry conditions present a big challenge to local firefighters but Mr Surrey said they had done their best to prepare for bushfires.

“Any available time we had in the past 12 months we have done hazard reduction burns,” he said.

“We only had a short amount of time because sometimes the conditions were too dry or too wet to safely complete a burn.”

Mr Surrey said the RFS had completed approximately 24 hazard reduction burns in the Wollondilly region.

“We still have a few more strategic burns on the books in high risk areas,” he said.

The RFS has worked alongside Fire and Rescue NSW and National Parks and Wildlife to keep the region safe this year.

“It’s largely due to this cooperation that we have been able to get to fires quickly and carry out hazard reduction burns safely,” he said.

“People have also been reporting fires to Triple Zero (000) and their local fire stations as soon as they see them too – so that allows us to get out there as quickly as possible.”

Mr Surrey said hazard reduction burns gave firefighters an edge when fighting bushfires.

“They give us a bit of an advantage,” he said.

“Burns allow us to slow the fires down so we can fight and control them quickly.”

Mr Surrey also reminded residents that the danger was not over.

“Conditions are very dry and the weather is just starting to cool down so please don’t get complacent about bushfires,” he said.

“People need to stay abreast of what is happening around them via the RFS website, the Fires Near Me app or via radio and have a bushfire safety plan in place.”

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