When the fire is on your doorstep who do you call

Today I found myself within half a kilometre of an out of control bushfire and I was blown away by the team of people who work so hard to make sure my family, our cows and our worldly possessions are safe from harm.

water bombing


Jamberoo Fire 2



Photos by Dylan Robinson – Kiama Independent

They’ve been on the scene all day and are relying on water-bombing by helicopters to keep things in check.

The fire began as a hazard reduction burn in Budderoo National Park yesterday that jumped containment lines overnight.

Paul Best from RFS Illawarra says, they’ve contained all edges of the fire but the northern one, and will continue to monitor the situation tonight.

Makes you think about those talented people who fly those planes and stand at the coalface with just a hose so selflessly.

Jamberoo Fire 3

Then to find out that the pilot of the plane who crashed at Ulladulla is a resident of the  close knit community of Trangie who are participating in the 2013 Archibull Prize and known to a number of our Young Cotton Farming Champions. Even more poignant he is the second pilot from Trangie in five years to lose his life flying the same type of plane. 

Two young women left without husbands and fathers for their children. 

Life is so unfair sometimes.

There are many ways we can say thank you and support those people left behind. Just one example you may like to sign this petition like me.

Barry O’Farrell: set up a support fund for our fire-fighters who’ve gone without to fight the fires

And for those of you who suddenly find themselves faced with a bushfire here is some wise advice from the Rural Fire Service of NSW ( rfs.nsw.gov.au )


  • You must make important decisions before the fire season starts.
    • Your Bush Fire Survival Plan is one of the best ways to help improve the safety of you and your family before the impact of, or during a bush fire.
    • Preparation is not just about cleaning up around the house and having a plan. It is also about making sure you consider your physical, mental and emotional preparedness. Prepare yourself and your family for bush fires.
    • Regardless of your decision to Leave Early or Stay and Defend, you still need to prepare your property against the threat of a bush fire.


  • The higher the fire danger rating, the more dangerous the conditions. Keep informed and be ready to act.
    • Part of knowing what to do is knowing the Bush Fire Danger Ratings.
    • During periods of increased fire danger and when there is a bush fire in your area, it’s important that you stay up to date.


  • Fires may threaten without warning so you need to know what you will do to survive.
  • Leaving Early
    • The safest option for you and your family during a bush fire is to leave early.
    • When you leave, you need to make sure you’re going somewhere that is safer.
    • Sometimes, things don’t go to plan. You should check if there is a Neighbourhood Safer Place near you and note it in your Bush Fire Survival Plan.
  • Stay and Defend
    • Before the fire impacts, you need to actively defend your property.
    • The heat from a bush fire can kill you. That’s why it’s important to wear clothing that will not only protect you from the heat but also from smoke and embers. Know what to wear during a fire to give you the best chance of survival.
    • When the fire arrives, go inside to protect you from the radiant heat. Remember – if your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
    • Once the fire has passed, you may need to patrol your property for hours.


Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

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