A total fire ban has been declared for the Illawarra/Shoalhaven area for Thursday, October 17 due to forecast hot, dry and windy conditions.
RFS Superintendent Mark Williams said the ban would remain in place from midnight, Wednesday, October 16 for a 24-hour period.
“Latest forecasts indicate high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds, with a Severe Fire Danger rating in place across the Shoalhaven area,” said Supt Williams.
“Under Severe conditions, fires will be uncontrollable and fast moving, and could threaten properties with little warning.
“If a fire breaks out in Severe conditions, you should only stay with your home if it’s well-prepared and you are able to actively defend it.
“That’s why it’s so important that people are prepared, by having a Bush Fire Survival Plan so they know what to do if a fire affects their community.”
Supt Williams said a Total Fire Ban meant a ban on the lighting of any fires out in the open, including wood or solid fuel barbecues.
A gas or electric barbeque is allowed, but only if it is on a residential property within 20 metres of the house or dwelling, is in a picnic area and the appliance is approved by Shoalhaven City Council, the National Parks and Wildlife Service or Forests NSW, it is under the direct control of a responsible adult, the ground around the barbecue is cleared for two metres of all material which could burn, you have an immediate and continuous supply of water available.
Supt Williams encouraged property holders to ensure they took precautions during the current conditions.
“Many fires start as a result of human activities, including working with machinery, and the risk of more fires is high in these extremely dry conditions.”
Further information on Total Fire Bans, including areas covered by a Total Fire Ban, can be found at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.