Hazard reductions in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie

Published: 27th May 2014

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW), in conjunction with Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils and the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS), will undertake a number of hazard reduction operations in the region this week.

FRNSW Newcastle Zone Commander, Superintendent Brett Davies, said authorities were conducting the burns in preparation for the bushfire season.

“These hazard reductions are a priority for the state’s fire authorities due to the fuel load in the areas making them a bushfire risk,” he said. This week’s hazard reductions will be held at:

• Birchgrove Brick Works, Birchgrove Dr, Elermore Vale, Wednesday 28 May (0.7ha).
• Recreation Ave, Whitebridge, Thursday 29 May (1.6ha).
• Blaxland Rd, Macquarie Hills, Friday 30 May (6ha).
• John Hunter Hospital, Jacaranda Dr, New Lambton Heights, Sunday 1 June (16ha).

“Ignition will start from 1pm for the Elermore Vale and Whitebridge burns, 10am for the Macquarie Hills burn and 11am for the John Hunter Hospital hazard reduction. The operations will involve multiple FRNSW and NSWRFS crews,” Superintendent Davies said.

“There will be a lot of smoke due to the high volume of fuel, especially during the John Hunter Hospital hazard reduction. Residents in these areas should not be alarmed and should only call Triple Zero (000) in the event of an emergency.”

Residents in the affected areas are advised to take the following precautions:

• Keep doors and windows closed to prevent smoke entering homes
• Keep outdoor furniture under cover to prevent ember burns
• Retract pool covers to prevent ember damage
• Remove washing from clotheslines
• Ensure pets have a protected area
• Vehicles must slow down, keep windows up, turn headlights on
• Sightseers must keep away from burns for their own safety
• If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high and if shortness of breath or coughing develops, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice.

A full list of hazard reductions is available on the RFS website – www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/hr