‘Unprecedented’ bushfire threat

‘Unprecedented’ bushfire threat

ABCJuly 16, 2012, 8:13 am


This year’s bushfire season is expected to be the worst in 40 years due to the widespread rain across most of New South Wales.

The Rural Fire Service has held a briefing with volunteers and staff at West Wyalong to discuss preparations for what is expected to be a ‘grim’ summer.

The Assistant Commissioner Dominic Lane says the state’s central and far west are facing a high risk of bushfires due to the grass growth. He says the threat is ‘unprecedented’.

“There is significant potential, in fact more potential than we’ve seen at least for a generation,” he said.

“In fact you have to go back to the mid 1970s to see this grass growth, particularly as our representatives from the north western part of the state were saying.

“Up around Bourke, and the like, people can’t remember fuel loads in their lifetime like this.”

West Wyalong is also considered to be a potential hot spot because of the major flooding earlier this year.

Mr Lane says there is a lot brigades can do to prepare for summer.

“Increase our hazard reduction planning, to go through a communications and operational exercise as a training event to lead up to the summer and generally start preparing our brigades for what could be potentially a very dangerous summer,” he said. “We know without a doubt that the increased risk is something that we haven’t seen for a long time.”

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