With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a wetter and warmer summer (known as a La Nina), the RFS District Officer for the Illawarra, Matt Reeves, is warning people not to be complacent about the risk of fire this season.
“Whilst we might have a forecast for more rain and warmer days, we might potentially see pockets of weather conducive to bushfires and grass fires.
“It is important to realise while NSW had massive fire activity this year and last year, the Illawarra escaped those fires.
“We were fortunate to get on top of the few fires we had.
“We still have large areas of unburnt fuel and there is still a real bushfire risk in our area.”
Winter and spring rains have resulted in greater grass growth here and elsewhere across the state, bringing with it a greater grass fire risk.
“We have pockets of grasslands with fuel that dries out quicker than normal forest fuels,” says District Officer Reeves.
“We are already back into our hazard reduction burning activities, which shows the areas of bushland of concern are already dry enough to burn.
“Understand the hazard is still there. The level of risk might vary based on the weather, but overall that risk is still present.”
He urges people to be prepared for what might happen over summer.
“Discuss your plans and know what you are going to do if you are threatened by fire.
“Take advantage of Get Ready Weekend as an opportunity to engage with your RFS brigades to get information about the risk specific to your area.”
Local Get Ready activities
19 September: Gerringong Fire Station, 46 Blackwood St, 10-2pm
20 September: Kevin Walsh Oval, Jamberoo, 9-2pm
5 October: Foxground Fire Station, Foxground Road, 11-12.30pm