NSW bushfires reinforce the importance of preparation

NEW South Wales has experienced its most dangerous day of bush fire conditions ever, as scorching temperatures over the weekend fanned the flames of bushfires, destroying properties and stock throughout the state.
NSW bushfires reinforce the importance of preparation NSW bushfires reinforce the importance of preparation NSW bushfires reinforce the importance of preparation NSW bushfires reinforce the importance of preparation NSW bushfires reinforce the importance of preparation

Alex Paull

The NSW Rural Fire service recorded catastrophic fire danger conditions on Sunday, in a number of locations across the Hunter, Central Ranges and Upper Central West Plains.

The catastrophic conditions have also reportedly wiped out the small community of Uarbry in the state’s central west, with reports of extensive stock losses.

While there has been confirmation that properties have been destroyed by fire, the number of properties destroyed will not be known until assessment teams can inspect fire affected areas.

Temperatures in Walgett, near the Queensland boarder, reached 47.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday, while Taree (45.7C), Port Macquarie (46.5C) and Kempsey (46.4) also set new records

Landholders should visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website for information about recovery options.

In January, Farming Ahead published the keys to preparing for bushfires, including the importance of livestock care.

NSW Rural Fire district manager Kevin Adams told Farming Ahead last year not preparing was the biggest mistake a farmer could ever make.

“Being prepared is far more important than fighting fires, if you are prepared it makes fighting any fire so much easier to manage. If you have no fire preparedness, everything you do is a knee-jerk reaction,” Adams said.

In the January edition of Farming Ahead magazine, Kondinin Group engineer Josh Giumelli reinforced the need to maintain fire-fighting gear.

He said while most farmers are well-prepared, ensuring the equipment is functioning properly was critical.

“A skid-mounted unit is the quickest equipment to deploy, but only if the unit is already on the ute," Giumelli said. 

"A trailer-mounted fire-fighting unit can cost you valuable time if the tyres are not pumped up or the trailer is not sitting on a jockey wheel or stand, ready to hook on and go.”