Mike Berry, Dunoon and District Gazette
It is important to remember that although you don’t need a permit to burn outside the declared Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) you are still required to register your planned burn with the RFS and advise your neighbours at least 24 hours prior to lighting up.
You can use the following link to advise the RFS of your planned burn: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fireinformation/BFDP/burn-notifications. Fines or penalties can apply for noncompliance.
A BFDP is declared based on current fire conditions and whilst they generally apply during the warmer spring and summer months, a BFDP declaration can be made at any time if conditions and fire activity warrant it.
They are applied across Local Government Areas (LGAs) and may have varied dates across the state based on conditions. For example, a BFDP can be declared across LGAs in the north of the state based on heightened fire conditions and not declared in other parts of the state where fire conditions are not particularly threatening. It is your responsibility to know what conditions apply in your LGA. This information is posted on the RFS website which you can find using the following link: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/BFDP.
The Dunoon RFS held its AGM on Wednesday 17 May 2023, with field officer positions remaining unchanged for the year ahead. They are Mike Berry – captain, Barry Watts – senior deputy captain, and deputy captains Ross McDougall, Ian Juleff and Paul Cox.
It had been another busy year for the brigade responding to 32 fire calls covering a range of incidents that included 12 grass or bush fires, eight vehicle or equipment fires, three structures fires, four motor vehicle accidents, and five others.
This comes on top of meeting every Wednesday night for training, regular maintenance and our monthly meeting, plus the brigade attended six Lismore Speedway meetings to provide fire protection and a number of other community engagement activities. The community can be proud of the commitment our volunteers provide as part of this important emergency service.
Talking about pride, it was with great pleasure that members of Dunoon RFS inducted Barry Watts as a Life Member of the brigade at our AGM. Barry is now just 13 months away from completing 50 consecutive years as a member of the RFS, which is an extremely impressive achievement.
Barry’s knowledge and experience contributes across all levels of the brigade’s activities, whether it be when responding to incidents, training inputs, mechanical issues or practical problem-solving, making him a critical member of the brigade. Barry is not one to seek acknowledgement for his service – in fact he openly shuns it – but if you see him around Dunoon I encourage you to thank him for his impressive service to the community. Great job Barry Watts.
Finally, on Saturday 29 April members of Dunoon RFS spent the day with a film crew from Germany who were in Australia filming a documentary series that we believe will be aired later this year. The crew and their host were in Australia filming a range of environmental topics around the country and our part related to how eucalypts burn across the landscape. This was officially sanctioned by the RFS and we were proud to be asked for our involvement for what was an interesting experience.
This article appeared in the Dunoon and District Gazette, June-July 2023.