22 January 2010

[rfs-bluemountains-information] Total Fire Ban Advice for Saturday 23 Jan 2010

Good Evening Everyone,
On Saturday, hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to increase fire dangers to dangerous levels in parts of NSW.

A TOTAL FIRE BAN has been declared for tomorrow, Saturday 23 January 2010.
The Commissioner, NSW Rural Fire Service will TOTALLY BAN THE LIGHTING OF FIRES from midnight tonight [Friday 22 Jan 2010] until midnight tomorrow night [Saturday 23 Jan 2010] in the following NSW Fire Areas:

Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region
Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Central Ranges, Southern Ranges, Monaro Alpine,
Upper Central West Plains, Lower Central West Plains,
Southern Slopes, Eastern Riverina, Southern Riverina,
Northern Riverina, South Western.
The Blue Mountains Local Government Area is part of the Greater Sydney Region Fire Area.
What does this mean?
Saturday will be warm, dry and windy. This combination can effect fire behaviour and cause smaller fires to increase in size and intensity quite rapidly. The lower-than-average humidity and strong winds - even in the absence of high temperatures - is of greatest concern.
Volunteer Firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service will be on stand-by at a number of locations throughout the area.
During a Total Fire Ban no fire may be lit in the open and all Fire permits are suspended. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood or charcoal.  
You may use a gas or electric barbecue, but only if:
It is on a residential property within 20 metres of the house or dwelling
It is a picnic area and the appliance is approved by Council, National Parks or State Forest
It is under the direct control of a responsible adult
The ground within 2 metres of the barbecue is cleared of all materials which could burn
You have an immediate and continuous supply of water available
Lighting a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban attracts a fine of up to $5500 and/or 12 months gaol. Penalties for a fire that escapes and damages or destroys life, property or the environment can attract much greater fines and gaol terms with maximums at $100,000 and/or 14 years gaol.  
What can I do?
Be aware. If a bushfire does get going, the situation can change very quickly. Be prepared to activate your Bushfire Survival Plan.
During days where a Total Fire Ban has been declared, we will be doing our best to keep everyone informed of any major incidents that might impact on our community. This may not necessarily be a fire in the Blue Mountains, but even a fire in another area can send significant amounts of smoke in our direction.
If you see a fire, report it immediately by calling '000' and asking for the Fire Brigade!
Stay safe,
Inspector Eric J Berry
Community Safety Officer
Blue Mountains District
NSW Rural Fire Service
Working towards a FireWise community
Emergency Services Centre
Cnr Bathurst Rd & Valley Rd

Ph: 02 4784 7444 (Office)
Ph: 02 4784 7416 (Direct
Ph: 0414 195 615 (Mobile)
Fax: 02 4784 7461
E-Mail: eric.berry@rfs.nsw.gov.au <mailto:eric.berry@rfs.nsw.gov.au>
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