The Adelong Rural Fire Brigade held their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, with several new members putting their hands up to join.
The incoming executive team are: Captain Nigel Cribb, Senior Deputy Captain Kevin Purcell, and Deputy Captains Peter Neyland, Tony Dean, Joe Carmody, and Matt Hardwick.
Many people may think of winter as a quiet time for the Rural Fire Service, but as Riverina Highlands Superintendent Trevor Reeves explained, there’s still plenty for them to do.
“Certainly as we go into winter there becomes an increased risk of structure fires with people using heaters in their homes – inappropriately installed heaters, whether they be wood heaters or gas, can cause fires,” he said.
“Wood fires in particular, if they’re not maintained properly, can cause a problem, if the flues catch alight. Using electric blankets as well, people have to be careful to turn them off when they’re not being used, and they shouldn’t sleep with the blanket on.”
It can be tempting on a frosty morning to throw on some clothes that have been warming up over the heater, or on days when you know your clothes just aren’t going to dry outside – but Mr Reeves said that doing that is playing with fire.
“There are always fires across the state that are started by people drying clothes in front of heaters,” he said.
“Heaters must have free flowing air around them, if clothes are hung on them the clothes have the potential to catch alight. Light fluffy clothing is particularly vulnerable if you have an open fire or something similar.”
And don’t think that just because it’s gloomy weather, you’re free to light whatever fires you want without telling anyone.
“If people are going to light fires in the open there’s a requirement to let the RFS know at any time of the year, so if people wish to burn blackberries etc. there is a requirement for them to ring the RFS office and be listed on the burns register,” said Mr Reeves.
“It’s not a quiet time for us, it’s as busy as summer.” The Adelong Rural Fire Service will be holding a training day this Sunday in vehicle and structure fires.