On the eve of Tuesday, January 8, a series of catastrophic fire warning messages were sent by the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to all land-lines and mobile phones in the Sea Cliff Coast area. At that moment, all residents and visitors were thinking about, talking about and taking action to limit the threat of bush fire.
With the threat still high and while motivation to think, talk and act is also high, the Sea Cliff Coast News, together with the RFS, is giving residents a chance to have their unanswered bush fire questions, answered.
All questions, both trivial and not so trivial, are invited. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with RFS question in the subject line.
In the meantime, whether you are at home or away travelling, it is helpful to know the RFS has compiled a list of places to go to when you have no where else to go and a bush fire threat is imminent.
These places are called Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSPs), however, RFS media spokesperson Brydie O’Conner has a warning:
“The RFS wants to make it clear that a Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) is a place of last resort for people during a bush fire – it is the place to go when you have no other place to go.”
NSPs are called places of last resort because each has a number of limitations including;
- NSP do not cater for pets
- When using NSP do not always expect emergency services to be present
- NSP do not provide meals, amenity or cater for special needs (e.g. for infants, the elderly, the ill or disabled)
- They may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly flying embers.
The Sea Cliff Coast area has two NSPs – one in Helensburgh and the other in Austinmer. In Helensburgh, the NSP is located in Charles Harper Park at the corner of Parkes and Walker Streets. In Austinmer, the NSP is in Pinecourt Park, located on the corner of Lawrence Hargrave Drive and Headland Avenue (opposite the petrol station).
A list of NSPs for NSW and across four other Australian states can be found at – http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?cat_id=1785
For more information, including how to make a bush fire plan go to – http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au