As the bushfire danger period entered its second week the Wyndham community turned out to celebrate the opening of the new Wyndham Rural Fire Brigade Station on Saturday.
The community raised $45,000 for the upgrade and a crowd of around 100 people gathered to watch stalwart Wallace Williams, who has served the Rural Fire Service (RFS) for 63 years, cut the ribbon and then unveil the plaque with Wyndham captain Daryl O’Pray.
The opening was one of three held across the shire with new stations also opened at Bemboka and Quaama.
Wyndham’s new station is located at the town’s sportsground, which became the air base for the long-running Jingera Rock fire in 2009, and has a training/meeting room, houses three appliances, two trailers and all of the brigade’s equipment.
Captain O’Pray said the old shed had been “literally bulging” with equipment.
“The face of bush fire fighting has come a long way since the farmers of the past turned up at a fire with a corn sack or a branch from a gumtree,” he said.
“Of course with all the schooling, more equipment is needed such as larger appliances, larger pumps, communication and training rooms.”
The new stations are timely given a home was lost in a grass fire at Berridale this week and local crews have been among efforts to fight a fire at Brown Mountain.
RFS acting community safety officer Marty Webster said the most concerning danger period begins in January.
Hazard reduction efforts were widely being undertaken by residents, landowners and agencies such as National Parks and Wildlife Services who have just completed a 174 hectare Hazard Reduction Burn (HRB) at Pambula Beach.
Training is also underway with 16 RFS members attending a four-day village fire fighting day at Kiah last week.
Twelve members have also completed crew leadership training for wildfires.
RFS is closely watching areas around Towamba.
“There are high fuel loads through that area because we haven’t been able to do as much hazard reduction burns due to wet autumn,” Mr Webster said.
Fire permits are needed during the bushfire danger period and can be obtained by contacting RFS Bega on 6494 7400 or Fire and Rescue Eden on 6496 1506 or visit the RFS website is www.rfs.nsw.gov.au