The Wollongong community can breathe a sigh of relief with the end of the fire season announced today.

In early January, the Illawarra faced its worst bushfire risk in recent history, with the fire rating reaching catastrophic. Illawarra Zone Rural Fire Service (RFS) Superintendent Richard Cotterill said the combination of dry weather, extreme heat and strong north and north-westerly winds created “one of the worst fire danger days that we’ve seen in the Illawarra for a long, long time”.

The recent bush fire season will be remembered as one of the most difficult and challenging in many years, NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

The dangerous bush fire season saw around 6,000 fires in total and approximately 62 houses destroyed.

According to Commissioner Fitzsimmons, the damage would be a lot worse if it weren’t for the help of firefighters, the community and the media.

“Time and time again, we’ve heard from affected areas how the incredible work of firefighters on the ground, backed up by the crews in the air, have helped save people and properties.”

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