A couple of weeks back we received some very welcome rainfall and all of us are pleased to see our gardens greening up nicely as a result. The danger of falls of this kind is that they only buy some temporary relief and unless we can have some good follow-up in the next few weeks their only effect will to be to delay the inevitable. From the Brigade’s point of view we see it as a good extra opportunity to get all those chores done around the place that may not yet be done in preparation for the fire season that commenced at the beginning of the month. You may remember that we also had some good winds to follow up on the rain – just imagine what it would have been like if those horrendous winds had followed on to fires rather than rain. Fire and wind together can too often spell disaster.
One of our officers recently read an article from rural NSW and there were some points in it that are particularly relevant to our mountain community and worth us all considering.
Factors that influence the risk of house loss in bushfire are: slope, garden vegetation, distance to other houses and distance to water bodies.
The importance of the home ignition zone (the 30 metres that surround the home) is the critical area for risk reduction.
If you are on a steep slope the speed of the fire is likely to increase and if you have too much dense vegetation close to your home the risk is further increased. The message in this instance is to keep your surrounding vegetation under control so that the risk is reduced even if it can’t be eliminated.
The role of timely deployment by firefighters was cited by many residents as an important reason for the relatively minor impact of the State Mine fire that threatened Bilpin and Mt Wilson in 2013.
It is important to remember that the Rural Fire Brigade is made up of volunteers and many of us have to work for a living. This can mean that the service may be stretched in times of emergency when the full complement of firefighters may not be immediately available. At these times all resources are called in but it would be foolish to purely depend on other brigades to come to our assistance as they may have fires of their own to deal with. At periods of extreme danger the Brigade members are on full alert to help minimise the issue but it is critical that members of the community are aware of what is going on to avoid confusion. ABC 612 4QR and ABC Gold Coast 91.7 are committed to transmitting community information in an emergency and residents should tune in to it to keep up to date. Facebook is another avenue for communication – have you become a friend of the Tamborine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade Facebook page? Also we are almost finished rebuilding our Brigade website and details will be available in our next article. Look out for it as it’s another way of getting the information you might need when you need it.
Finally a date for your diaries. We are already planning for the next Craft Extravaganza that will take place from the 10th until the 12th of October. This is an important event as it is a major fundraiser for your brigade and your contributions are invaluable. All money that we raise is used to improve the Brigade’s effectiveness and safety, something that benefits the whole community. As usual entrance will be by gold coin donation while tickets will be on sale for our raffle which as usual will have some exciting prizes.