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Bushfire Protection

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Bush Fire - Prepare, Act, Survive

Bush Fire Survival Plan

People who live in the Illawarra should take the time to prepare their homes, and themselves, to give them the best chance of surviving a fire. To help, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) encourages people to assess their home's bush fire risk by using their online assessment tool and to prepare a Bush Fire Survival Plan.

For more information, download NSW Rural Fire Service's Bush Fire Survival Plan.

Bush Fire Household Assessment Tool

This tool is provided by the NSW Rural Fire Service to help you to assess your household's level of risk from a bush fire and make informed decisions about the safety of your household.

View more information at NSW Rural Fire Service's Bush Fire Household Assessment Tool.

Fire Danger Ratings

The Fire Danger Rating is an early indicator of the potential danger, should a bush fire start. A Fire Danger Rating needs to be taken seriously and people should be prepared to act. The Fire Danger Rating system now has a new top level category - Catastrophic (Code Red). Catastrophic or Code Red means there is a very real likelihood of major loss of life and property.

Bush fire alert messages

New bush fire alert messages will be used to help people make safe and informed decisions in the event of a fire. The bush fire alert messages are be ranked on a sliding scale depending on the threat.

Total Fire Bans and Fire Permits

In order to limit the number of fires that escape and threaten life, property and the environment, especially on days when it is very hot, dry and windy, the NSW Rural Fire Service can restrict the use of fire through Fire Permits and Total Fire Bans.

Fire Mitigation Measures

One major fire management strategy is the creation of Bushfire Asset Protection Zones (APZs).  An APZ is an area of land, adjacent to an asset (this may be a building or area of value), where potential fuel for bushfire is managed to significantly minimise the impact of fire on that asset. It acts as a buffer zone between an asset and the unmanaged bushland. A bushfire may still travel through an APZ, however, less fuel means the intensity of the flames will be reduced and fire fighters and home owners will have safer access to defend the property.

We encourage residents to help maintain these areas through the Fiready program. This community-based program provides support, training, safety equipment and other resources to people carrying out ongoing bushfire fuel management work within the APZ, and in conjunction with Council. Each Fiready group is supported by an experienced Council officer who coordinates the activities of the group, provides materials and equipment, and carries out training and education for group members.

New groups are always welcome. To find out more about the program and how you can become involved please contact council's Bushfire Officer on 0418 4107 98

The group meeting times for existing Fiready groups are as follows.

FIREADY timetable

Hill Street Lower, Austinmer3rd Tuesday of every month2 - 4pmPlayground in Felix Ryan Reserve
Hill Street Upper, Austinmer 4th Saturday of month9 - 11am46 Hill Street, Austinmer
Alanson Avenue, Bulli 3rd Sunday of month11.30am - 1.30pmAlanson Avenue, Bulli cul-de-sac
Stephen Drive, Woonona2nd Saturday of every 2nd month12 - 2pmIn front of 51 Stephen Drive
Sunninghill Circuit, Mount Ousley3rd Saturday of the month9 - 11amReserve entrance, Sunninghill Circuit
Garden Avenue, Figtree3rd Saturday of every 2nd month1 - 3pmReserve between 20 and 24 Garden Avenue
Balmer Cresent, WoononaFridays once per month. Dates vary.10am  -12pmCall our Bushfire Officer (02) 4227 7111 for dates and meeting point.
Upper Hewitts Creek, Thirroul1st Saturday of the month9am - 11amArmagh Parade Reserve, south of 13 Armagh Parade

Private landowners intending to carry out bushfire hazard reduction works for their existing house may require a Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificate from the NSW Rural Fire Service prior to starting the work. The certificate lists the type of work which can be carried out on site and any environmental safeguards which must be complied with. The environmental assessment and certificate are completed by th​e NSW RFS free of charge.

New Rural Fire Service 10/50 vegetation clearing laws

New laws are now in place that allow residents in certain areas to prepare their homes for bush fires by clearing vegetation from around their home.

For details, and to find out if your home is in a 10/50 area, visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website.

The RFS website also provides a bushfire survival plan and the warning codes.

If you would like further information regarding Wollongong City Council’s Bushfire Management Programs, please contact the Bushfire Officer on 0418 4107 98.​​

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