The RFS Public Forum night held at Kyla Hall in Tuross Head saw the attendance of 172 community members. An aside saw the organisers raised $163.80 in raffle proceeds to pass to the Tuross Head Progress Association Treasurer THPA to bank in order to defray the costs of the purchase of commodities for the supper, and for the Council’s hall hire fees for the night.
John Tilbrook, Secretary of the Tuross Head Progress Association said it was the first night they ever ran out of chairs "Kyla Hall only has a stock 146 chairs, plus the 2 chairs in the kitchen, and indeed we almost ran out of standing room only in the Hall!" John also added that whilst the evening was very informative it was a pity that the Council’s Fire Mitigation Officer did not attend after agreeing to come along to participate and explain the Council’s position?
Above: Photos by Anne Parker John Tilbrook advised the community that the night at Kyla Park Hall had been organised by the President of the THPA (Cathy Milliken) to enable Marty Webster, the NSW RFS Community Safety Officer for the Far South Coast RFS Area (ably assisted by local members of the Tuross RFS Brigade) to educate Turossians on being bushfire aware, in taking the vital precautions to protect homes from the impact of bushfire or ember attack, and in having an individually tailored Bushfire Plan (i.e. to remain and defend your property or to evacuate to one of the two safety form up areas in Tuross), especially when/if Hector McWilliam Drive/Trafalgar/Nelson Parade are closed in the event of a bushfire emergency, such as the Tathra disater that saw the loss of 69 houses, 39 houses damages, 30 holiday cabins & caravans destroyed within hours. John noted that Tathra has three access roads – two of those roads were closed during their bushfire emergency, whereas Tuross Head only has one access road in and out of Town, therefore there is need for concern ahead of this summer bushfire season which is predicted to be severe. "Remember 70% of homes lost in bushfires were the result of collateral damages being ignited by ember attacks, whereby airbrone embers can travel long distances in hot and windy conditions. In the mid 1980’s a severe wildfire west of Moruya caused tornado updrafts that sucked up embers into the atmosphere, some embers travelling some 37 nautical miles and causing a large grassfire on Montague Island, akin to the blackened sticks and blackened leaf debris that rained down upon Tuross from the Canberra wildfires in 2003 albeit this fire was some 150 kms away?" said John "Marty Webster was on the fire-ground during the Tathra bushfire emergency – so he can make comparisons with Tuross Head and explain what vital community assets in our village will have a priority for protection than homes, such as the Mobile Tower, the fireshed etc. John said it was disappointing that the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Fire Mitigation Officer cancelled at the last minute as the meeting had many questions that were specifically around Council's fire mitigation. Those who had questions at the ready to ask regarding debris load and risk in areas such as Trafalgar Road and Clive and Chatham Parks have been advised to write directly to the Eurobodalla Fire Control service seeking a formal assessment that can then be used as a directive to Council who are, in the main, responsible for most of the high concern reserves in the village. John Tilbrook added "There has never been a bushfire in Tuross in living memory, and with no recent history of any annual fire hazard reduction cold burns there is an immense build up of ground fuel that would feed a wildfire should we run out of luck and be impacted by a bushfire during severe weather conditions that can generate the perfect firestorm (Strong winds, extremely hot temperatures, low humidity and an abundance of dry fuel load on the foirestr floor)." Below is the double sided brochure that was delivered to Tuross Head residents by letterbox drop