Captain’s message

Bush fires are a threat to all regional and urban fringe communities and Canyonleigh is no exception. We all have a responsibility to ensure that our communities, neighbours and families are aware of, and responsible for, bush fire safety.

The Canyonleigh Bush Fire Brigade is made up of dedicated, well trained volunteers ready to assist the community without any reward or recognition. Even though a serious bush fire has not erupted in the area for many years, the Green Wattle fire of 2019/2020 got to within 400m of our northern boundary. The Currowan fire of the same summer got to within 5km, with a number of properties suffering from ember attack.

The population base of Canyonleigh, although small, is growing at a constant rate, particularly since Covid. There are a many new residents who have only ever known benign conditions. While it is important to relax and enjoy the ambience of Canyonleigh please bear in mind you are living in one of the most bushfire prone areas on earth. The high fuel loads combined with the strong westerly winds, low humidity and high temps that Canyonleigh experiences all mean you need to be prepared.
I urge all residents and visitors to keep a diligent watch, especially during bush fire season, and report anything that could risk our safety. With such a large area to service, we are not always able to reach a fire quickly. So, the sooner you see any smoke and dial ‘000’, the better. If possible you can greatly assist the Brigade by downloading a camera app that allows the GPS position of where you are to imprint on a photo. If you take a photo of the fire and text it to 0484 129 514, that will greatly assist the Brigade in formulating its response.

It is also vital to realise that a fire truck is unlikely to be at your property in a major fire event. We have 2 trucks and around 250 properties to protect. The math is obvious. To mitigate this risk please visit the `Survive’ section of our web site or the RFS website and research how you can prepare and protect yourself and your property.I would like to advise we will not be issuing fire permits, other than to burn dead animals, during the fire danger period. I know this has been different to the last 3 years when finding the right time to burn was hard. I recommend you get all your burning-off done prior to 30 September. Note that in high-risk years the fire danger period can be bought forward to 30 August. The upcoming fire season 23/24 has the potential to be of concern. Already this year we have had some ten fires in Canyonleigh alone – many caused by escaped burns.
Whether you are a full-time or part-time resident, or someone who visits friends and relatives on a regular basis, you are invited to join our brigade. Becoming a volunteer has a range of benefits and training opportunities, and you get to know your community and the people a little bit better.

If you would like more information, visit the NSW Rural Fire Service and follow the links or contact us via phone, email or Facebook Messenger.

Kind regards
Brett Bannerman
Brigade Captain