Fire, protecting your assets – Part 1 with Tom Reeve, Captain of Orara Brigade News Of The Area Opinion by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 13, 2021 Tom Reeve, Captain of Orara brigade. HELLO neighbours, WITH the fire season just around the corner it’s time for all of us to take a look at our homes and get to work, including me (yes, that is my shed in the photo). For many of us who came from the city getting our heads around bushfire and protecting our homes is a challenge. Yes, believe it or not, each landowner is responsible for reducing and maintaining the fire risks on their land. It has to be this way as, for example, Orara has two fire trucks and looks after 450 homes. In a big fire we have to work out which homes we can protect. In my time as Captain of Orara Brigade I have seen way too many places burn that could have been saved if the owners had attended to a few simple things. • Clearly identify your street number on the main road and any turn offs along the track. That means that when you ring 000 we can get to you quickly. • Make sure your access road is wide enough for a fire truck. We lost a house a couple of years ago because the driveway was too rutted and we couldn’t get the trucks to the house. • Have a large clear space where a fire truck can park and turn around. • Provide a water source close to the asset. If it’s a tank then have a Storz fitting we can access (see photo). • Remove anything that can burn from around the house, e.g. old LPG bottles, car bodies, batteries, old furniture and vegetation. • Make a plan with your whole family and practise it. Visit https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/resources/bush-fire-survival-plan. There is a lot more you can do that will help protect your assets and I encourage you to have a chat with your local RFS brigade. Call 6659 7800 for their contact details. Regards, Captain Tom REEVE, Captain of Orara Brigade. Provide a water source near to your asset. Have a Storz fitting ready for the fire brigade to access water easily.