Fiery history should serve as a warning

THE Victorian bushfires have been credited with reaffirming the importance of bushfire prevention in the Clarence Valley.

“It is really unfortunate what has happened in Victoria but it has opened people's eyes up here,” Clarence Valley community safety officer Stuart Watts said.

Mr Watts said many parts of the Valley were in bushfire zones and people living in those regions needed to be prepared.

“There is no doubt that there will be bushfires in the future so communities should be prepared,” he said.

“The NSW Rural Fire Service is here to help but in the end it's up to the land-holder.”

One recommendation the RFS had for house owners was to keep a five metre clearance around homes of trees and tree limbs.

The most recent bushfire to threaten homes in the Valley was the Christmas fire of 2001 that directly threatened homes at Brooms Head, Wooloweyah and Angourie.

A combination of 39 firefighting units, 184 firefighters, three dozers and two helicopter water-bombers worked tirelessly to protect homes and keep the flames, which were licking the boundaries, at bay.

Fire breaks were also credited with saving the villages.

National Parks and Wildlife Service has announced it will begin work next month to strengthen Wooloweyah's protection zone.

Work will include vegetation management on the existing fire breaks, putting gravel on the north western radiation zone to provide access for fire vehicles, installing a pipe gate to restrict access to the north western radiation zone, and erecting 'radiation zone' signs.

About 25 Clarence Valley firefighters have been helping to contain the fires still burning in Victoria.

Mr Watts will leave today to add his support to the efforts.


NOW: Decide if you want to stay to fight a fire or leave early.

AUTUMN: Identify fire hazards around your home/land.

WINTER: Use this time to apply for environmental approval to remove any trees identified as a hazard.

SPRING: Spring clean around your home. Clean gutters, remove scrub, hazard reduction.

SUMMER: Continue fire awareness and safety in summer.

ALWAYS: Call Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service if you have any questions about hazard reduction strategies or bush fire advice on 6644 5135.


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