Australia — The knowledge and opinions of local people about bushfires will form the cornerstone of a new Bush Fire Risk Management Plan being developed for the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Cudgegong District.
Cudgegong – which incorporates the Mudgee and Rylstone areas – is one of 32 council areas working on new plans.
Thirteen bushfire management committees (BFMCs) are seeking community input in order to review and rewrite their plans so that they can be put on public display by June 2006.
“It’s about consultation,” said Superintendent John Parnaby.
“In the past, the plans were hatched in isolation and not with community consultation so when they were put on public display it was a case of the cart before the horse. Now, we are trying to consult with the community, particularly in areas of increased risk.”
The committees are made up of all the organisations with an interest in local bushfire management – such as fire authorities, land managers and emergency services.
The plans define what risk rating (extreme, high, medium, moderate, low, insignificant) applies to local assets and what treatment strategy should be undertaken.
The committees want to find out:
what places, buildings, environments, local people think are important
what bushfire risk rating local people feel should apply to those assets
what bushfire treatment strategy should be in place for those assets
local knowledge and experience of fire history and fire paths
local bushfire management issues and concerns
Mr Parnaby said little work would be done on the plan in the lead up to Christmas but there would be more activity in the new year.