The NSW Central Coast’s Rural Fire Service has begun backburning within national parks following last week’s six hectare fire on the peninsula between Patonga and Little Wobby.
Backburning began on October 1, approximately three weeks earlier than last year. The combination of last week’s dry winds and 36 degree temperatures caused the RFS to react quickly, sending out eight brigades to begin the burning.
Umina RFS Brigade member Trent McRae assisted with the fire at Patonga on September 27.
“It was tricky because the land is boat only access so we needed help from Brooklyn on the other side of the river,” he said.
“There were about a dozen houses at threat. This is only the beginning of what this season has to hold.”
The weekend also saw the backburning of the headland at MacMasters Beach to protect the small villages of Macmasters and Killcare following a small fire that broke out on a property on Ocean Drive.
West of the F1 saw multiple homes and businesses evacuated as the farming communities of Peats Ridge and Mangrove Mountain came under threat after a fire at Bucketty.
Third generation avocado and citrus farm Meliora is operated by Tim Kemp and the Peats Ridge evacuation forced the family to cancel their beloved pick-your-own weekend.
“It really has affected the local farmers during the school holidays,” he said.
“We had the floods last year, now we’ve got the fires again. It’s going to be another hard season.”
NSW braces for another catastrophic season as a total fire ban is currently in place for the Hunter-Central Coast region.