FARMERS are being asked to contact the Liverpool Plains Rural Bush Fire service to help them locate and record reliable water sources in the local area, as their concerns escalate to source water to fight fires.
The Bureau of Meteorology has reported during the next three months temperatures will be hotter than average and rainfall will be lower than average, leaving firefighters with dwindling options to fire fires.
Scott McPherson, district assistant at Liverpool Plains Rural Fire Service said they don’t know where and when a fire may occur, but they need to know where the nearest water source may be.
“We never know when a fire will start, where and how fast it will travel,” said Mr McPherson.
“If there is a fire, it’s one getting the trucks to a location where the fire is, but two, how far they have to travel to refill, so it is a concern for us and we are putting together contingency plans for those events,” he said.
“If people have a reliable water source if they can contact the Liverpool Range office and allow us to mark it as a static water supply, it means they have a placard at their front gate and then a blue reflector here and there towards the water source itself,” he said.
“The water source might be a dam or a tank on top of a hill and basically we GPS the site, we take photos of it and mark it with breadcrumbs so that a brigade even at 3 o’clock in the morning can follow the blue reflectors to the site,” Scott McPherson said.
A small silver lining to the current drought is it has reduced the risk of fires spreading.
“The drought has been a double-edged sword, in that as much as there is no water, at the same time there has been minimal growth,” he said.
“We’ve had a number of fires already, but because there hasn’t been the vegetation growth they haven’t spread,” he said.
“But with the recent spats of rain we are getting a little bit concerned with regrowth, but people are still stocking their properties so it is being chewed out fairly well , so the risk of fires spreading is minimal at the moment,” Scott McPherson said.
Reminder: From September 1 people will need a permit to conduct burning again.
Contact the Liverpool Plains Rural Fire Service: 02 6746 5800