Community Recovery

Below is a link to information issued after the fires around Uki in 2019.

Community Recovery Information

Information sheet on replacement of used water by the RFS after a bush fire.

Fire Fighting and Water Replacement

Living with Prolonged Stress.

Managing prolonged stress during the Fire Season: Written by Karen Challand Registered Nurse.

The more prepared we are, the more we feel in control and
the less fear and anxiety we have.

Stay informed.
Put into place your “Bush Fire Survival Plan”. Know what you will do and if the decision is to evacuate, leave early.
Complete your Property Preparation, what to take if evacuating and a plan for your animals.

We are told this Fire Season could last for weeks or months. How do we cope?
When local fire activity is low, we prepare, stay informed and get on with living as normally as possible. This includes fun and relaxation. Normality will help reduce anxiety.
Constantly tuning in to fire activity that is not impacting on us or loved ones directly, can feed our anxiety and create inaction and indecision. While this may be manageable over a short period of time, prolonged anxiety and stress impacts mental health.
Action reduces stress. Distraction reduces stress.
Find what helps you recharge mentally and physically.
If you feel unable to cope, are constantly fearful, stressed or anxious, then contact your GP or one of the following organisations for professional help:
NSW Mental Health Help Line: 1800 011 511
Rural Adversity Mental Health (RAMHP):
Healthy Minds Counselling 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Mon to Friday: 1300 160 335
Mensline: 1300 789 978 Lifeline: 13 11 14 Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 Kids Anxiety:
Fire Impact Victims: Connect to Wellbeing: 1300 160 339

When Bush Fire Alert levels change on an existing Fire or a new Fire is in your area, become vigilant and enact your plan.

If you have prepared as outlined above, you know what to do. Do not become indecisive.
Decisiveness reduces anxiety.

When you are satisfied that the fire in your area is downgraded to “ADVICE” and there is no immediate danger, stay up to date in case the situation changes.
Start living as normally as you can.

The Unfortunate New Normal.
The changing fire activity could see our lives being stressful one day and less so the next. As destabilising as this is, we need to find ways to manage this and adapt as changes occur.

When there is No Fire, Alert Level is “ADVICE” on a local fire, or smoke is from fires some distance away:
Live as normally as you can, when you can. Have some fun and reduce stress. Enjoy time with family and friends.
Enjoy some “self care”.
Accept help when offered.
Help others. This takes us out of ourselves and changes our focus.
Feeling part of a community with common goals helps build our confidence and resilience.

"Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure out everything all at once.  
Breathe. You're strong. You got this. Take it day by day."
Karen Salmansohn

Property Preparation

compiled by Dr. James Alexander


* The safest place to be is nowhere near a fire, so the RFS will always suggest this.

* Many homes are not defendable, due to their location, the amount of  fuel around them, the terrain, lack of water supply or pressure, lack of  enough people to put out embers.

* Most houses burn down from ember attacks, not fire fronts.

* Ember attacks can occur up to a couple of hours before a fire-front hits, and after the front has passed.

* Houses don’t just explode in the face of intense radiant heat – solid  objects (like houses), do offer protection from radiant heat.

* Most fire fronts pass on average within around 7 minutes, but it can take up to 20 minutes.

* Windows can break during a fire front, so embers can then enter the  house and cause an internal fire.  Have visible access to roof cavities  in case embers get up there.

* It is a mistake to clear all trees  away from around a house- as they can offer a screen of protection from  embers, and can maintain a higher level of humidity around the house.

* Tree branches hanging over a house roof are dangerous and should be removed.

* Native species like eucalypts have a very high oil content, while  introduced species (other than conifers) usually have around 10% of the  oil content of native trees. It is safer to have low oil content trees  near your home.

* Trees with rough bark will often create the most dangerous embers when burning – these are not good to have near your home.

* Most deaths in fires are from people trying to flee a fire front  (best to not try due to the speed of fires, lack of visibility,  obstructed roads), or not seeking adequate protection in a house or not  doing it safely.

* Leaf blowers can be just as effective as water  in putting out grass or spot fires, and in eliminating ground fuel from  the house surrounds or containment lines. Don’t use leaf blowers to  clear gutters as this can just force fuel up under your roof.

*  Embers can attach to cobwebs on the outside of the house, under veranda, roofs – or anywhere;  and these embers, held in place by cobwebs, can  then acts as wicks for fire.

* It is possible to defend your home  against both ember attacks and fire fronts, but in both cases you need  to have an adequate water supply with powerful pressure soaking all  aspects of your house. You need to eliminate or radically reduce fuels  outside your home and on verandas. Your plan needs to include multiple  sources of water (both hoses and buckets) with the means of putting out  spot fires, e.g mops, wet towels, hessian sacks etc.

* Fire  travels much faster uphill than downhill, due to the fuel being above  the flames.  If being approached from below by an uphill fire, you will  have less warning and time to respond.

* Planning is essential –  planning to prevent your home being vulnerable;  planning what to do in  case of an ember attack; planning an exit to a safe place if defence has  failed, e.g to a shelter, behind a solid wall, or to burnt/clear  ground.

* Dress in wool and cotton clothes, so that no skin (or  hair) is exposed. Wear heavy duty boots, gloves, face protection, wet  towel around your neck;  breathing protection and goggles.

Note to Firefighters

Some information that may be helpful to leave for RFS crews if you leave/evacuate your property:

– Your contact details and where you have gone to

– Location of water tanks and how to access them

– Location of power meter

– Any hazardous materials or structures that are not immediately obvious that may need protecting (e.g. a shed hidden in the bush). [Source: RFS]