Catastrophic Fire Danger survived

The Central Coast survived a Catastrophic Fire Danger warning on November 12 virtually unscathed, although the Rural Fire Service warns that residents should remain vigilant, with rain not predicted for some time.
Several schools were closed on the Coast in view of the warning and thick smoke filled the air for most of the day.
RFS Central Coast public liaison officer, Stuart O’Keefe, said there were a “couple of minor ignitions” which were dealt with quickly.
“There was a report of fire at Warnervale but nothing was found, and smoke sightings reported at Woy Woy Bay and Green Point required no firefighting,” O’Keefe said.
“However, there is a heightened level of awareness in the community and a certain level of anxiety at the moment and we would encourage people to report any suspected fires quickly and we will respond accordingly.”
O’Keefe said firefighters had “planned and had resources for the worst possible scenarios” following the Catastrophic listing and news that southerly winds due late in the day could lead to a heightened fire risk.
“Fortunately for us, none of that preparation was required,” he said.
“But the message is that although the high temperatures and winds have abated for the moment, they are likely to return
“The bush is very dry and drought affected and even on calm days fires can take hold and burn quickly.
“We would ask everyone to remain vigilant and maintain the highest level of preparation.
“Ensure your bushfire survival plan is regularly reviewed, especially in the current situation.
“The situation will not really resolve until we have flooding rains and these are not predicted for months.”
O’Keefe said smoke on the Central Coast was coming from the Gospers mountain region, 50km to the west.
“I urge everyone to keep up to date with the Fires Near Me app,” he said.

Interview, Nov 13
Stuart O’Keefe
Public Liaison Officer, Rural Fire Service Central Coast

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