Drop-in sessions with Bellingen firefighters

Ahead of what is predicted to be a day of Extreme fire danger for the North Coast tomorrow, people have been contacting local brigades with queries about how to prepare and what to do if an emergency is declared here.

North Bellingen Rural Fire Service will have a stall outside of Kombu Wholefoods store on Church St from 9:30am today (Monday November 11) and are inviting you to drop in if you have any questions.

Similarly, the Fire and Rescue NSW station in Bellingen will set themselves up outside the library today from 4pm to 6pm to answer questions and help you with your fire survival plan.

There will also be a community meeting at Darkwood Fire Shed at 5pm.

On their Facebook page, North Bellingen Rural Fire Brigade said:

"Tuesday's predictions are as bad as it gets. Do you have a Bush Fire Survival Plan? Where can you be safe if a bushfire threatens? Resources will be stretched to the limit, we do not have enough trucks to protect every home and life. Given the amount of active fire in the landscape, combined with the predicted weather conditions, the only safe option is to be in an urban area, away from bush and grassland. Start making preparations for your safety NOW!".

Place of Last Resort

The designated 'Neighbourhood Safer Places' in Bellingen are the Showgrounds on Black St, the Uniting Church (across the road from Maam Gaduying Park ) and Connell Park (between the Yellow Shed and the high school).

Neighbourhood Safer Places are a place of last resort during a bushfire emergency.

They are to be used when all other options in your bush fire survival plan can't be put into action safely.

You should be aware of any Neighbourhood Safer Places in your area, and note them in your bush fire survival plan before a bushfire occurs. You should also know how to get there, as well as alternate routes in case the road is blocked or too dangerous to drive on.

Not all areas will have a Neighbourhood Safer Place. If there is no Neighbourhood Safer Place in your area, you should identify other safer locations you can go to as a last resort. This might include a nearby home which is well prepared, a shopping centre or oval which is well away from the bush.

A Neighbourhood Safer Place is designed as a Place of Last Resort in bushfire emergencies only. Please note that travelling to or sheltering at a Neighbourhood Safer Place does not guarantee your safety.

Remember:

  • Your safest option will always be to leave early.
  • People with special needs, such as the elderly and people with a disability, should always leave before the threat of bushfire.
  • If it is unsafe to leave the area or stay and defend your property, and the path is clear, you should move to your pre-identified Neighbourhood Safer Place, or other safer location, prior to the impact of a bush fire.
  • Be aware that when you are travelling to your Neighbourhood Safer Place there may be heavy smoke and poor visibility.
  • It is important that you are familiar with the area. Gather at the Neighbourhood Safer Place location and remain there until the bushfire threat has passed.
  • The conditions at the Neighbourhood Safer Place may be uncomfortable and you may be affected by heat, smoke and embers.
  • Water, toilets and food may not be available at the Neighbourhood Safer Place and emergency service personnel may not be present.
  • Neighbourhood Safer Places are not intended for pets and livestock.

NSW RFS warning

Tuesday will be a dangerous day.

Based on the latest forecast, we are likely to see widespread Severe and Extreme fire danger. This is expected to stretch from the Queensland border to the south coast, and across the Central West.

There is already extensive fire activity across the north coast and northern NSW areas. These fires won't be contained in time.

Under these conditions, these fires will spread quickly and will threaten homes and lives.

These conditions will be as bad, if not worse, than those experienced on Friday as they will be across a much broader area including large population centres like Sydney.

There are significant resources committed to fires and they are limited.

If you are threatened by fire, you may not get help.

Monitor conditions over the next few days. Use the time now to get ready.

Stay up to date on bush fires in your area and take responsibility for your own safety.