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Teesdale Fire Brigade News

Safety First:
It is always timely to consider safety where fire is involved & especially as summer approaches. The message is clear: Clean Up Your Patch and Be Prepared.

In recent communications (CFA Newsletters, Brigades Online, Brigade Magazine, Chief Officer editorials, news and media releases) the repeated message indicates that the coming summer is potentially ‘the worst” for some time. We have heard that before. However until it hits us head on, it perhaps seems easier not to head the warning. Weather outlook broadcasts indicate:  (taken from Chief Officers Msg 12/9/2015)

The Bureau of Meteorology has released its latest climate outlook for the period September to November 2015. It highlights:
•  Wetter-than-average spring more likely in western and central Australia
•  Warmer nights likely for most of Australia and warmer days likely along the east coast and far south-west Western Australia
•  Climate influences include El Nino in the Pacific and record warm sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean.
The BoM outlook video can be viewed at:

From Chief Officer - Euan Ferguson: In Victoria the temperature and rainfall over the next few months will be crucial in determining the fire threat, fuel growth & conditions this summer…. While August to October is traditionally Victoria’s wettest time of year, a decade of below average rainfall means the state remains quite dry. Even average rains over the period are unlikely to see the fire risk decrease due to the long term drying that has occurred. As temperatures rise leading into summer, soil moisture will decrease and fuel loads in forests and grasslands are expected to dry quickly. The fire season’s severity & duration could also worsen, courtesy of warmer water temperatures in the Indian & Pacific Oceans. This is a major driver of Australia’s climate, with the current El-Nino event in the Pacific one of the strongest on record.

Last weekend (14/09/2015) it was reported that, as folks headed outdoors to ‘clean up’ there was a spike in grass fires across the warm weekend. (Please refer to attached article)

On our larger semi/rural properties it is always diligent to reduce the risk of fire when mowing; to check the deck of your mower frequently, to stop and remove grass cuttings build up to prevent a spontaneous combustion as the deck gets hotter. We have responded to calls for help, seen the loss of mowers and risk to properties and adjacent properties across several years, for this reason.

Running over those pesky rocks, not only blunts the blades, but can also cause a spark that can very quickly result in the similar outcome, before you get to the end of the row you are mowing, then turn, only to be greeted by a frightful sight!!

Don’t be put off. It is up to us all to bog in and help by playing our part to keep our patch fire ready, and our community safe.

Following our June AGM, our Brigade Management Team have been diligent, and hard working to come into line with changes driven by CFA, completing our Section 29, as well as continuing our usual training and support functions; and currently, as the Summer season approaches, ensuring all members are onboard with skills updates and summer preparedness training, to enable maximum member participation in turn outs & strike teams.

Teesdale CFA is a small brigade with 21 active members. We endeavor to maintain a strong sense of team, and high level of skill in order to bring to the community, and wider area, the support expected and desired, as the need arises.

Our Captain & officer team are as follows:
Captain, Group Delegate & Community Safety Coordinator: Rob Galtry;
1st Lieutenant & Deputy Group Officer/Training: Barry Tomlin; 
2nd Lieutenant, 2nd Group Delegate: David Burge; 
3rd Lieutenant VFBV Rep.: Shane Wells; 
4th Lieutenant, Training Officer: Graeme Ferguson; 
5th Lieutenant, Health& Safety Coordinator: Stephen Bright

Supported by: 
Secretary: Lyn Galtry
Treasurer: Jessica Goodman

Recruitment is always required and welcomed. Anyone interested in learning more about Teesdale Brigade, our functions and joining our team, as a member with the desire to train in Minimum Skills, should contact our Secretary, Lyn Galtry on 5281 5459

Sunday 15th November 2015 – 10.00am - 4.00pm 
Teesdale Fire Station and Hall area.

 We are very excited to have joining us on this day Teesdale Pre-School & Leigh Valley Lions Club, who will be running a sausage sizzle, Children’s events, Raffle and other activities to benefit fundraising for their organisations.  Bunnings Corio is also joining us with an activity for the young and young at heart. 

For Teesdale CFA, it will be a Connection to Community event. We will have information re Fire Safety in & around the home & Summer Preparedness; displays, Fire Extinguisher Information, fun activities, and a scenario demonstration that will illustrate some of the skills of our firefighters & the vital role our tankers play. I have heard a rumor that if we are really lucky Captain Koala will even pay a visit.

We hope you will come and join us in this special event for Teesdale CFA & also lend support to:
Teesdale Pre-School & Leigh Valley Lions Club in their fundraising.
Teesdale CFA Volunteers - Supporting Our Community.

Warm weekend sees spike in grassfires
Mon 14 Sep 2015

CFA responded to more than 40 grass and scrub fires over the weekend across Victoria as warm weather swept across the state

Temperatures reached close to 30 degrees in some parts of Victoria on Sunday with warm northerly winds fanning the fire risk.

From Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September, CFA District 8, which encompasses Melbourne’s south-east from Dandenong to the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island, recorded the highest number of grassfires.

State Duty Officer Mark Kennedy said conditions over the past few days should serve as a reminder to people to be prepared.

“Whether you live in suburban Melbourne or on a farm in rural Victoria, you need to have a bushfire survival plan in place,” he said.

“As the grass dries out, fires can start and spread quite quickly, catching people off guard, which is why it’s important to know what to do ahead of time.”

Mark said there were simple measures people could take to protect their property.

“Reducing the volume of grass around the home is the first step, which can be done by mowing or spraying the area with herbicide, grazing or creating a fire break,” he said.

“The taller and drier the grass, the more intensely a fire will burn. Short grass less than 10 centimetres is ideal to lower the risk.

“Cutting down fuel loads will reduce the ability of a grassfire to spread to buildings through direct contact or radiant heat.

“But now is the time to do the work. It’s too late to begin spraying and slashing once a fire is approaching.”

Be aware of the weather conditions on the day as machinery such as chainsaws, tractors and welders can spark grassfires accidentally.