Get ready for early bushfire season

Summer has come early – but so have the threat of bushfires authorities have warned.

It comes as the city is forecast to come close to challenging its warmest day this early in September on record today, with the Bureau of Meteorology expecting the mercury to climb to 32 degrees.

That's about 12 degrees above the average for September.

Sydney has only had one day of 32 degrees or warmer in the first half of September, and that was a 32.2-degree reading on 13 September, 2009, Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the bureau, said.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said total fire bans will be in place for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, north coast and north-west region of the state.

The unusually early fire bans come after NSW posted its driest winter in 15 years with about half the usual rainfall. Fire authorities earlier this month predicted an early and active bushfire season for most of east coast Australia.

In preparation the NSW Rural Fire Service will host Get Ready Weekend at local fire brigades this weekend.

Residents can visit their local brigade to pick up vital fire safety information and thank firefighters for the tremendous work they do to help keep our communities safe from bush fires.

Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies said residents need to prepare for the worst case scenario this summer – especially if you live near bushland and areas prone to grass fires. She also encouraged households to update or create a Bushfire Survival Plan.

“..and make sure the whole family knows what to do when faced with a fire. It could save your lives,” she said.

Bunnings Warehouse Bonnyrigg is teaming up with the NSW Rural Fire Service free Bushfire Preparedness D.I.Y. Workshops on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30pm.

Residents can learn simple but vital steps that will make a big difference in the event of abushfire.

“Preparing for bush fires is easier than people may think, it could be as simple as mowing your lawn, clearing debris and flammable materials on your property, cleaning your gutters and talking to your family about what you would do if a bush fire was to start near them,” NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

Bushfire safety precautions:

  •  Trimming overhanging trees and shrubs.
  • Mowing your lawn and removing all the cut grass.
  • Removing flammable materials from around your home (e.g. door mats, wood piles, mulch, leaves, paint, outdoor furniture);
  • Clearing and removing all the debris and leaves from gutters.
  • Ensuring you have a hose or hoses that can cover the perimeter of your home.

You can download a Bushfire Survival Plan here

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