Medowie Rural Fire Brigade Provides Advice to Residents on keeping fire safe this summer

Last month’s devastating bushfires around the Medowie and Karuah areas were a timely wake up call to all residents of Port Stephens.

With forecasts for the summer ahead pointing to a hot, dry period, the threat of a dangerous bushfire season is very real.

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One of the most important things to do right now is to decide what you will do if a fire should start.

To help residents make that decision, Medowie Rural Fire Brigade held a ‘Prepare – Act – Survive’ information evening last Wednesday.

The key message from the information evening was to have a Bushfire Survival Plan in place and think about the risks of the area you live and/or work in.

Bush: If you live or work in an area that is close to or surrounded by bush, know that bush fires can be hot, intense, and throw burning embers many kilometres.

Grasslands: Where grasslands meet built up areas or homes, this presents a fire risk as grass fires can start easily and spread quickly.

Coastal: For those who live or work along the coast near scrub, fires in coastal scrub can be hot and move fast.

Paddocks: Fires can spread quickly over great distances on farms and paddocks.

On A Hill: In what seems counter intuitive, fires travel uphill faster than downhill or on flat ground.

For every 10 degrees of slope, the fire can double in speed.

A NSW Rural Fire Service spokesperson told Medowie News Of The Area, “Around 90 per cent of homes destroyed in a bush fire are lost because of burning embers.”

“Embers can travel many kilometres from the fire, so even if you’re a few blocks back from the bush you may be at risk.”

If you have any questions or concerns, visit the Medowie Rural Fire Brigade at the Medowie markets each month or drop by the Station (cnr Ferodale and Medowie Rd) any Saturday from 8:30-11am.

To assess you bush fire risk, visit the RFS Bush Fire Household Risk Assessment Tool at assessmyrisk.rfs.nsw.gov.au

By Heather SHARP

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