The annual drive by the rural fire service is now checking: are you prepared?

Deb Donaldson from the New England RFS was in Bees Nest in the wake of the massive bushfire to speak to the community about fire prevention which she described as a crucial function of the service and the more recent fires in Uralla supported that.

RFS volunteer Theo Groen from The Uralla Diggings said community education was about fire prevention and what people can do to protect themselves and their property.

He said two important jobs were to clear flammable materials, such as gas cylinders, away from your home, and to slash long dry grass areas around your house and sheds.

"Remember, in a fire safety plan your animals are your responsibility. Include your animals and livestock in your fire prevention plans," he said.

"If you are at home when the fire is present, lock your pets in the bathroom with plenty of water."

RFS educational material promoted two mobile phone apps, the Emergency+ app and the perhaps better known Fires Near Me.


When used on a smartphone, Emergency + not only uses GPS to help locate someone who might need help, but can also accurately report outbreaks by relaying its GPS co-ordinates to authorities.

Recent fire activity in New England has seen many people attending RFS education seminars with Uralla Diggings RFS holding two information mornings, one at Uralla and Invergowrie, last week.

There are many volunteering duties available other than front line fire fighting. Volunteers for support, bushfire education, logistics, communication and catering are all needed.

"This means that if you want to volunteer but you don't want to fight a fire there are many other volunteer jobs available," Theo Groen said.

This story Bushfire education and preparations continue first appeared on The Armidale Express.