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Latest Bushfire News

RFS Get Ready Weekend 22-23 September 2018 

We encourage the Wingecarribee Community to join "Get Ready" weekend and make a plan for the bushfire season. 

The NSW RFS is planning activities across the Wingecarribee LGA over the weekend of 22-23 September, including information and displays at Bunnings stores and Open Days at NSW RFS stations. 

This is a great opportunity for families to have fun, get to know their local firefighters, find out about the local fire risk and learn just how easy it is can be to prepare for the bush fire season.

Take a few moments out of your weekend to make a start towards preparing. It might be easier than you think!

To find out what's going on near you simply go to web linkRFS Get Ready (external link) and type in your location.

Top five actions

IT’S A FACT! If you follow the five simple steps to getting ready and have a bush fire survival plan you will reduce the risk to you and your home.


overhanging trees and shrubs.

2. MOW
your lawn and remove all the cut grass.

material that can burn around your home (e.g. door mats, wood piles, mulch, leaves, outdoor furniture).

and remove all the debris and leaves from the gutters surrounding your home.


a hose or hoses that can stretch all around the house.

Just a few small actions now could make all the difference if fire threatens your home.

Working together we can all help make our communities safer this bush fire season.

Climate outlook overview for August to October 2018

A warm and dry 3 months likely for most of Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology has released the climate forecast for August to October 2018.

  • There is a greater than 80% chance of a drier than average season for the east cost of NSW.
  • There is a greater than 80% chance of warmer than average day and night time temperatures, with August days very likely to be warmer than average. 
  • These forecast warmer conditions suggest that much of south east Australia are less likely to see widespread respite in the coming season.
  • The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are currently neutral. However, the Bureau's ENSO Outlook is at El Niño WATCH.
  • Water storages for NSW South Coast continue to decline.

 Link Climate and Water Outlook, August - October 2018 (external link)

Climate outlook overview for June to August 2018 

The Bureau of Meteorology has released the climate forecast for June to August 2018.

  •  There is no strong indication that winter will be particularly wetter or drier than average for most of the country.
  • Both days and nights are likely to be warmer than average for winter in southern areas of Australia.
  • Broad scale climate drivers, such as El Niño and La Niña and the Indian Ocean Dipole, neutral, meaning they are currently having little influence on Australia's climate. Consequently, there is no strong shift in the outlook towards widespread wetter or drier conditions across most of Australia. 

web linkClimate and Water Outlook, June - August 2018 (external link)

Hazard Reduction Burns across NSW Autumn 2018 

Fire agencies and private landholders have been taking advantage of favourable weather conditions to conduct vital hazard reduction burns across the state, reducing fuel loads and protecting homes from bush fire.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said it is important to take advantage of every hazard reduction opportunity as wet weather and unfavourable conditions resulted in the postponement of a number of controlled burns
across the state last year.

A total of 121,466 hectares were treated in autumn and winter 2017, protecting 36,317 properties.

A full list of scheduled hazard reduction burns is available at :


web link

   Scheduled Hazard Reduction Burns (external link) 

2017 / 2018 Bush Fire Danger Period Facts

Across NSW there were: 

  • 13,030 bush/grass/scrub fires
  • 256,526 hectares burnt
  • 23 days of Total Fire Ban
  • 74 homes and 58 structures destroyed
  • 58 homes and 28 structures damaged

New bushfire research hub 

The NSW Government has provided $4 million and launched a new Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub which will be located at the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at UoW.

The Hub is part of a five-year research partnership between the University of Wollongong (UoW) and the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). Experts from the UoW, Western Sydney University, the University of NSW and the University of Tasmania will work together with OEH, the NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW Environment Protection Authority.

The Hub will host a team of world class experts led by Professor Ross Bradstock to integrate the latest research on bushfire science into the planning, policies and measures needed to manage the increasing risks associated with bushfire in New South Wales.

Some of the key research focuses are:

  • Impacts and management of hazard reduction burns;
  • Drivers of bushfire frequency and severity;
  • Impacts on air quality; and
  • Impacts on the environment and endangered plants and animals.

Stay up to date

Fires Near Me

The Fires Near Me NSW application has recently been updated. You need to check if you’ve got the latest version of the application installed.

If you are having problems with the Fires Near Me App please Click Here (external link)

NEW Bush Fire Survival Plan (external link)

Four Simple Steps to making your Bush Fire Survival Plan

Hard copies available at :
Wingecarribee Shire Council Civic Centre,

Elizabeth St Moss Vale

Fire Control Centre Mittagong (Rural Fire Service),

Cnr Priestly and Etheridge St Mittagong.

Bush Fire Survival Plan (external link)

What does this mean?

  • Above average rainfall may lead to an increase in fuel loads. This means that there is a greater build-up of vegetation which also means an increase in surface fuel. 
  • These factors may increase the possibility of erratic and significant fire behaviour later in the season.
  • What can we do to be prepared and keep safe during the Bush fire danger period?

Be Prepared

  • Know your risk - you don't have to live right near the bush to be at risk. Even if your home is a few streets back, you may be at risk.
  • Download and complete your Bush Fire Survival Plan 
Every home should have one. Make a plan and talk about it.
If you already have a plan, review, discuss and practice your bush fire survival plan 

  • Prepare your property and home - A well prepared home is more likely to survive a bush fire. Even if your plan is to leave early, the more you prepare your home, the more likely it will survive a bush fire or ember attack. A well prepared home can also be easier for you or firefighters to defend, and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk. A well prepared home will also give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave.

  • Prepare yourself and your family as well as having a bush fire survival plan this includes making sure you consider your physical, mental and emotional preparedness.

Prepare an emergency kit
Have suitable clothes ready to wear

Be informed

  • Know what the Fire Danger Rating is and understand what the different alert levels mean
  • Decide and discuss what your ‘triggers’ are to implement your Bush Fire Survival Plan 
  • Know your neighbours and Community discuss what your plan is in the event of a bush fire 
  • Keep yourself informed on days of increased fire danger.
  • Go to the RFS Hazard Reduction website to inform you of planned hazard reduction burns in your area.
  • Check out the RFS Fires Near Me webpage or download the APP for current incidents
  • Pay attention to local radio and TV stations 
  • Check social media such as NSW RFS Facebook and NSW RFS Twitter
  • Call the Bush Fire Information Line - 1800 679 737
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment
  • contact the National Relay Service TTY users phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 679 737
Speak and Listen users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 679 737
Internet relay users connect to the NRS then ask for 1800 679 737

Help to keep our Community Safe

  • Report a bush fire hazard - if you are concerned about bush fire hazards on your property, or the property adjacent to you, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) can provide advice regarding preparing your property against bush fires and what you have to do in the event of a bush fire. This advice is free and can be arranged by contacting your local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre on 4868 5500 and speaking with one of the officers. 

  • If you see a fire without a fire truck in attendance, please call Triple Zero (000).

  • Report arson. If you see something that looks out of place you can report suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. If you can, record the details of vehicles such as the make, model and registration of suspicious vehicles. Also take note of the appearance of anyone acting suspiciously.

  • Report a cigarette butt tosser. You can call 1800 679 737. Throwing lit cigarette butts from cars and trucks is dangerous. Cigarettes can start bush and grass fires, and place lives at risk. It's also bad for the environment.

For all Bush Fire Information please go to the Rural Fire Service web site at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au (external link)

Last Updated: September 13th, 2018
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