CLIFTON Grove residents must fire proof their properties, according to a meeting between residents and the Rural Fire Service yesterday morning.
Going into yesterday’s meeting to provide landholders with information in the event of a bushfire Clifton Grove Working Party president Charles Everett said residents had an idea in mind to settle on a common area where all domestic pets including horses, sheep and goats could be taken in the event of a bushfire.
However, acting on advice from yesterday’s meeting, Mr Everett said landholders realised they had to fireproof their properties and put in place measures that would protect their stock.
“We were told a number of things we have to do, particularly in relation to horses, because so many people out here have horses,” he said.
“We were told yesterday the fires starting early as they did last week in the Blue Mountains is a real wake-up call for us to get moving and put things in place.”
Mr Everett said residents were told to keep grass short around their properties and place animals in a paddock with plenty of water and the grass cut right down.
“We were also told to have first aid kits on hand for our animals,” he said.
NSW Rural Fire Service fire mitigation officer Geoff Selwood, who addressed yesterday’s group of landholders, said residents in the original Clifton Grove area were not facing the same risks as landholders on the fringes of the estate.
“A fire has the potential to really roar through the forested areas at the back of Ophir and there really is an extreme risk,” he said.
Mr Selwood said much of the information gained from the Canberra fires could apply to Clifton Grove landholders.
“There was a lot of work done after the Canberra fires because horses were right in the middle of it, and of course people live at Clifton Grove because they want to own horses,” he said.
Mr Selwood and his daughter Alyce, who is also a member of the RFS and a horse-owner, told the residents they should have markers to identify their horses in the event they got out, while halters and blankets should be removed from horses during periods of risk.
“They need to be in a specially prepared paddock with plenty of water and of course never be locked in a barn for example,”he said.