The fire season ends and the volunteers get busy

SHOALHAVEN District NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) attended 25 incidents over the Anzac long weekend. 

The calls ranged from automatic fire alarm responses to grass and bushfires and a number of vehicle accidents involving fatalities.

After an almost incident-free Easter long-weekend just one week earlier, NSW RFS Shoalhaven District inspector Chris Palmer said 12 of the car crashes which occurred over the Anzac weekend involved three fatalities.

“We have been fatality-free for a number of months,” he said.

“We know there is a higher chance of crashes occurring over the holidays with the large influx of people.

“It often comes down to a combination of things including fatigue and inpatience which leads to accidents.

“The key message here is to ask people to slow down, use commonsense and be careful.”

ALARMING: NSW Rural Fire Service Greenwell Point captain Sam Thompson and RFS Shoalhaven District inspector Chris Palmer inspect the Shoalhaven incident map after a busy long weekend which involved 25 separate incidents.

ALARMING: NSW Rural Fire Service Greenwell Point captain Sam Thompson and RFS Shoalhaven District inspector Chris Palmer inspect the Shoalhaven incident map after a busy long weekend which involved 25 separate incidents.

Inspector Palmer said crews were kept busy with a number of escaped pile burns. 

“While the bushfire danger period ceased on March 31 and permits to light and maintain a fire are not required, there is still a requirement for the NSW RFS to be advised when landowners are going to light a fire,” he said.

“Landowners should also be aware they are responsible for any damage caused by that fire escaping their property. 

“A simple plan of preparing the area around the fire, having adequate firefighting resources in the way of hoses and water, looking at the weather forecast over the day of the burn and being in attendance for the duration of the burn will generally be sufficient to ensure a safe pile burn.”

Fire Rescue NSW station officer Greg Bathurst said despite the bushfire season coming to an end, it was actually the busiest part of the season.

“Because we are getting the first of the cold snaps, people are bringing out their electric blankets, heaters and using clothes dryers,” he said.

“People need to make sure they check their items are in working order with no frayed ends and not keep heaters near drying clothes or curtains.”

If residents have any inquiries regarding burning they should call the Shoalhaven District NSW RFS office on 4424 4424.

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