Fire resilience

As the first anniversary of the Cudlee Creek bushfire approaches later this month, the fire-ravaged town of Lobethal will again find itself in the spotlight – but this time for all the right reasons.
A bushfire expo, planned for this weekend at the town’s oval, is a prime example of a community working together to bring good and learn from the trauma and devastation.
It’s not the first time the Hills community has demonstrated its unwavering spirit over the past year – a community spirit that’s likely to further bolster the region’s resilience.
Bushfire is a devastating but real part of Hills living and one that is only likely to escalate as the climate changes.
But even so, a string of fire free years can lull Hills dwellers into a sense of false security.
Last year’s devastating blazes – not just in the Hills, but across Australia – have heightened the public’s awareness about fires – something the organisers of this inaugural expo have capitalised on in their proactive approach to community safety and resilience.
In a matter of just days, the organisers – who faced the devastation of last year’s fires first hand – put together a large community event that aims to help locals help themselves prepare against future disasters.
While the expo will showcase some of the newest advances in bushfire technology – including a likely world first automatic fire protection system – it will also educate the public about what to expect during a fire, how to protect themselves and their loved ones and how to best prepare their properties.
There’s no one silver bullet to prevent the kind of devastation witnessed during last year’s fire.
Sometimes the best prepared properties are still lost.
But the more awareness and vigilance present across the Hills, the better off our region will be when we’re confronted with another such disaster.