AS the heat turned up on the Shoalhaven yesterday those inside the Emergency Operations Centre were already 24 hours ahead of where they may have been if a pre-emptive section 44 declaration had not been secured on Monday afternoon.
Deputy incident controller Mark Williams said the pre-emptive action allowed those in the incident management team to “upscale firefighters and management”.
“It put us about a day ahead of where we would normally be.
“That first 24-hour period is mayhem here,” he said.
Before the Register went to press, Mr Williams said while conditions today were horrific, “we were fortunate that the forecast for tomorrow is for much cooler and milder weather”.
In response to concerns that some residents had been frightened by receiving a text message warning of catastrophic conditions, Mr Williams defended the move.
“The text message is not a crying wolf scenario,” he said.
“The danger is real with extreme potential.
“It lets the public know the gloves are off, we’ve been warning about this for months. This is serious.”
Throughout the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) the various departments including logistics, air combat, communications, planning and mapping were up and running prior to the arrival of yesterday’s westerly winds.