Captains Message

The last two months have seen the brigade very busy with 10 callouts, hazard reduction burn and two large fires further down the coast in which we have had trucks and crews involved, along with a small bush fire in Upper Kangaroo River that had a lot of potential to become a major problem if not for the quick attention of the brigade along with numerous other local RFS brigades.

KV brigade supplied crews to assist with a 45ha hazard reduction around the Aboriginal community of Wreck Bay. This saw crews utilising one of our Cat 7 fire trucks as well as the 4WD PC to access the beach to protect assets with RAFT members burning around isolated structures. 

Regarding the fire down the coast at Bawley Point, we provided an arduous crew that was involved in blacking out the fire edge in steep, non accessible country utilising helicopter water drops to secure the fire , falling hazardous trees and back burning to contain the fire. 

And for the fire at Bermagui we provided a small crew in our 4WD vehicle to engage in asset and structure assessment work as well as dangerous tree falling

Training has been continuing with two members, Tracey Basman and Greg Murphy, successfully completing their village fire fighter course. We are continuing with our last basic firefighter course for the year, and have a large group of 10 new candidates working through this who hopefully will be trained ready to go for this fire season.

At the time of writing things are getting very dry and, with hot weather starting, now is the time to review your fire plans for your families and guests as well as pets and livestock, and check firefighting equipment in preparation for summer.

Let’s all hope for a quiet summer fire season and that everyone listens to and heeds current advice and warnings as they occur.

Captain Dusty 

0421 865 638

Incident calls

We have had several callouts to possible smoke in the area sightings. Please ensure that you only call 000 if you see an unattended fire.

  • A 3am call to a single car fire opposite the showground within the village. The fire had started to spread into the surrounding bush area, but prompt action from our local policeman with a fire extinguisher limited the spread until the brigade arrived on-scene. The car was destroyed. No occupants or owners were present and further investigations are with the Police. Thanks to the Beaumont brigade for their assistance.
  • A call for bush alight to the east of the village. Responding crews identified a fire burning in a steep gully and into lantana lining the sides; a couple of trees had caught alight, and with the hot gusty winds it had the potential to spread quickly up the steep hillside. The Valley 1 crew attacked the fire directly with the 7B crew establishing a water supply from a handy stream below. The initial fire was quickly contained and soon under control with the help of Cambewarra RFB; however it took a considerable amount of water to finally extinguish the smouldering trees and rake over some hot spots before it could be declared out.
  • The Brigade responded to reports of a MVA on the bends, halfway up Barrengarry Mountain. They found a motorcyclist who had lost control and come off at the corner but was fortunately uninjured. The crew managed traffic while they cleared the road and mopped up some spilled fuel.
  • A fire at Upper River was in a very isolated property, almost on top of the escarpment, which was contained to 1ha due to the quick response and attention of numerous local RFS brigades. KV brigade utilised all three trucks to gain access and supplied water for a quick initial knockdown to contain the fire and then continue to black out the edges. A return visit was required after an ember must have escaped the initial fire and reignited outside of the burnt area after we had initially left the fire. At one stage we had seven fire trucks on scene to ensure the area was saturated. This has served as a timely wake-up call to many residents in Kangaroo Valley as to how dry the bush is, especially in an area like Upper River that is typically wet rainforest at this time of the year.

Medals presented to members this year

  • Lorraine Mairinger – 40 years long Service
  • Dusty Smart – 40 years long service and Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for British Columbia fires
  • Mark Bourke – 20 years long service
  • Steve Jenner – 10 years long service
  • Jingle Chittick – National Medal 2nd clasp 35 years.

Pile Burns and Burning Off

As the Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) has begun the following tasks are mandatory prior to lighting up:

  1. Obtain a Fire Permit from a local Fire Permit Officer via:
  1. Phone: Shoalhaven FCC 02 4424 4424 between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
  2. Email: Shoalhaven FCC or the brigade
  1. You must notify the NSW RFS (not the local brigade) at least 24 hours before you light the fire and provide the issued fire permit number. Notification methods include:
  1. Online: or via the QR code .
  2. Phone: Shoalhaven FCC 02 4424 4424 between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
  3. Email: Shoalhaven FCC
  1. You must advise your immediate neighbours at least 24 hours before you light the fire. Immediate neighbours include those where you are separated by a road or water course. 
  2. You must adhere to all the conditions listed on the fire permit, including at least one responsible person must be present on site until the pile is extinguished.
  3. Check for any messages from Shoalhaven Fire Control Centre and the NSW RFS Fire Danger Ratings webpages, as fire permits may be suspended if weather conditions dictate.
  4. Check the upcoming weather conditions as the pile may continue to smoulder for days 
  5. If you believe that you cannot safely control the fire once it has been lit, dial 000 immediately.

Consider notifying your local WhatsApp Neighbourhood Group and ask the coordinator to share any plans with other group coordinators if expected weather conditions mean smoke is likely to travel some distance. Smoke does not respect property boundaries. 

Where the brigade is assisting local community members with burns, the responsibility for notifications remains with the property owner, but the brigade will attempt to post Facebook updates about planned brigade activities if there is a significant volume of smoke expected. Changing weather conditions may mean brigade updates are provided with short notice.

If you have concerns about burning off yourself, please contact the local brigade or Shoalhaven Fire Control and we can possibly assist you with your pile burn or check your site for you. 

Compiled by Tracey Basman 

& Gary Matthews