Urban firefighters prepare for dangerous fire conditions

Published: 7th January 2013

As NSW braces for unprecedented fire conditions predicted to hit the state tomorrow, Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast are preparing to respond to any bushfire emergencies near urban areas.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said FRNSW firefighters are preparing to deploy to highrisk areas on the bushland-urban interface and would also respond to assist the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) whenever requested.

“Tomorrow, we are expecting extremely dangerous bushfire conditions, the likes of which haven’t been seen in NSW for many years. It is 19 years to the day that we saw more than 100 homes destroyed in southern and northern Sydney.

“Today hundreds of FRNSW firefighters around the Greater Sydney Area (GSA) are preparing to deploy to the bushland-urban interface, which is home to around 1 million people.

Commissioner Mullins urged residents in urban-bushland interface areas to heed warnings from the RFS and ensure their homes were well prepared against the threat of bushfires.

“I encourage everyone to visit the RFS website, download a bushfire survival plan and complete it today, so that if a bushfire does impact your property, you and -- more importantly -- your family know exactly what to do.”

Commissioner Mullins said every FRNSW fire station in NSW would be online tomorrow, as well as about 70 reserve fire engines staffed by recalled off duty firefighters.

“FRNSW has a network of 338 fire stations across NSW, and we have the capacity to boost resources on the bushland urban interface as well as maintaining coverage for other fires and emergencies. We work very closely with the NSW RFS, and will be coordinating joint responses from the NSW RFS Headquarters at Homebush.”

Information on fire danger ratings and a copy of the bushfire survival plan can be found on the RFS website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au