Hipcamp Host Seminar: NSW Bushfire Safety

Bushfire season in Australia is well underway, and while fire conditions have been subdued so far, it’s always critical to stay bushfire prepared.

That’s why we hosted our inaugural Bushfire Safety Seminar in November 2021, with special guest presenters Anthony Clark, Director of Communications and Engagement with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service; and Jenny Robb, from Kiah Wilderness Camp on the NSW South Coast. If you missed the live session or would like to revisit any of the information covered, we highly recommend watching the recording below.

The seminar took a look back at the catastrophic 2019-20 Black Summer fires that burnt a total of 16.8 million hectares, destroyed 2779 homes, and killed 34 people. The Rural Fire Service (RFS) shared stories of survival from the fires two years ago, and presented its Live Bushfire Ready campaign to encourage landowners to plan and prepare early for bushfire season—before it’s too late. In addition to the full recording above, we’re sharing key takeaways from the seminar below to help further preparedness. We hope you find these resources helpful and informative!

How to Prepare for a Bushfire

While it has been a wet start to the bushfire season this spring, conditions can change rapidly, and a number of grass fire threats exist across large parts of the state. 

“It can just take a couple of days of hot weather for fire conditions to return” –Anthony Clark, RFS

Make a plan

The RFS’ bushfire guide features important steps to consider ahead of the season. You can make your plan online in as little as five minutes by visiting My Fire Plan and downloading the RFS Plan and Prepare: Bush Fire Survival Plan. As part of this planning, you should also:

    • Discuss what to do if a bushfire threatens your home
    • Prepare your home and get it ready for the bushfire season
    • Know all bushfire alert levels
    • Keep all bushfire information phone numbers handy, and bookmark the NSW RFS website
    • Download the Fires Near Me NSW App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
    • Listen to your local emergency broadcaster for the latest incident alert levels at any given time

Complete the RFS’ seasonal preparedness checklist

Know your risk

Have a plan—including trigger points

Prepare your property and have clear areas

Check the fire conditions and follow any restrictions

Stay up to date on fires in your area

Identify safe locations

Talk to your local fire brigade for hyperlocal details

Contact your local fire control centre for more information

Hipcamp Bushfire Safety Resources

You can find a number of useful Hipcamp resources to help you stay fire ready, and keep you, your comunity, and your Hipcampers safe. The Hipcamp Fire Education Hub is a one-stop shop where you can find tips for campfire safety, resources on responsible hosting during bushfire season, and training on Hipcamp tools such as the Campfire Quiz and Fire Ban tool

We encourage you to turn on the Fire Ban Tool in your Host Dashboard when there is a total fire ban in your region. Once you toggle the fire ban on for your property, Hipcampers will be notified of the current fire restrictions in effect.

Special thanks go out to Anthony Clark and the RFS for their important presentation on bushfire safety and preparedness, and to Jenny Robb from Kiah Wilderness Camp for her incredible bushfire safety tips and learnings from the Black Summer fires. 

Ellyn Taylor is a Hipcamp Support Guide.

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