Not long after becoming a member of the Macarthur Bush Fire Management Committee, Campbelltown councillor Warren Morrison got a crash course in the real thing.
In late summer a large grass fire broke out not far from where he lives with his family in Kirkham and Cr Morrison says he was able to watch first hand the response from fire brigades.
“I was so proud the local rural fire brigades came out so quickly from Cobbitty, Camden and Campbelltown,’’ he says.
“Everyone was there so quickly, at the end of the Outlook, on the top of the hill.
“I walked down the road to have a look at it, and the fire was basically on the fence line.
It had gone through the fence already in some parts, so once the fire brigade vehicles arrived they only had to knock down a bit of fencing to get through.
“They set up camp straight away at the end of the road there and did a marvellous job.’’
Despite the crash course that day in Kirkham, Cr Morrison says he is trying to learn more about bushfire fighting.
Macarthur Bush Fire Management Committee provides a bushfire management forum for the Campbelltown, Camden and Liverpool local government areas and Cr Morrison is Campbelltown Council’s representative.
It meets four times a year at Wests Leagues Leumeah to consider bushfire issues of concern.
The committee is currently looking – among other things – into how to deal with fires that cross the Georges River from Holsworthy and other parts of Liverpool into the Campbelltown LGA.
It follows a large fire earlier this year around Moorebank Avenue which threatened homes nearby.
“We do scenarios of what could be happening during a fire, and how to approach it and how to get other services like the police involved, the rescue crews, get around the houses and tell them if it’s getting close to them,’’ Cr Morrison said
“We’ve also discussed the issue of clearing and back burning and why they have to do it and where.
“We’re looking at things like fire trails and the question was about fire trail entrances, how they approach leaving them open in some places, the right people having the right keys.
“The aim is to minimise vehicles entering fire trails, to reduce dumping.’’
Cr Morrison recently went on an inspection tour of fire trails in Kentlyn and Wedderburn after a program of hazard reduction had been completed by the bushfire brigades.
“They are starting hazard reduction burning earlier now, in the cooler months, instead of early spring, when it can get quite warm these days,’’ he says.
He says that local residents are alerted about any hazard reduction fires near where they live.
“Everything’s done electronically these days, so hopefully people will see any messages from the Rural Fire Service in Macarthur,’’ he says.