Firebreak urgentlyneeded at Potato Point: community

WITH ominoussigns of a dangerous fire season ahead, the Potato Point community has scaledup its efforts to convince authorities to restore a 200-metre firebreak on thecoastal community’s approaches.
Nanjing Night Net

Until the late1980s, Potato Point located north of Narooma and east of Bodallawas largely surrounded by several hundred metres ofgrassland.

However, sincethe declaration of the Eurobodalla National Park in 1995 very little work hasbeen undertaken to preserve the firebreak.

Thick forest andscrub has taken over the firebreak and now reaches the back fences of somePotato Point properties.

The EurobodallaBush Fire Risk Management Plan 2010 says the fire risk to Potato Point is high.

The CommunityAssociation believes that if Potato Point faced a major bushfire this year,similar to that which threatened the village in 1985, many properties and somelives could be lost.

While wanting topreserve the integrity and beauty of the Eurobodalla National Park, thecommunity and local Rural Fire Service have pressed the National Parks andWildlife Service to restore and maintain a buffer zone for over a decade withlittle success.

The community isnot wanting the firebreak stripped bare. Instead, it is asking that theundergrowth and dead fuel be cleared and the tree cover thinned to establish apark-like firebreak that would be practical for firefighters to defend on theapproach of a major fire.

In April thisyear, the Potato Point Rural Fire Service, on behalf of the Potato Pointcommunity, asked the NSW Minister for the Environment and Heritage, RobynParker, to restore a 200-metre firebreak around Potato Point.

In her response,Minister Parker made it clear that the community’s request would not be met.

A Potato PointCommunity Association has been formed to take this fight forward.

Posters andbumper stickers have been produced to raise the profile of the cause.

The community hasalso invited Minister Parker and the local member Andrew Constance to visit tosee for themselves the severe fire-risk.

Central Tilba RFSopen day

THE Rural FireService will hold an open day at the Central Tilba fire shed this Saturday from11am to 2pm.

Everyone invitedto meet local volunteers and have some fun.

There will be asausage sizzle and information on many aspects of fire control and prevention.

Try rolling outfire hoses, watch the use of fire hoses, and even use one, try starting a firepump, have a close up look at the fire trucks, booklets to assist withpreparation of a Bush Fire Survival Plan.

Balloons and kidsactivity booklets will all be available.

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