While the worst of the bushfire season is thankfully behind us, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Mid Coast district has shared some statistics that illustrate the extensive and unprecedented nature of the fire threat the region faced during the past six months.
The first fire of the season - the Lindfield Park fire in Port Macquarie - started on July 18, during what is traditionally an ideal time for hazard reduction burning, and was only declared extinguished earlier this month. It burned for 210 days.
Two Section 44 declarations were issued, with the first commencing on August 21 and concluding on September 20, for a duration of 31 days.
The second was declared on October 26, 2019 and concluded on January 21, 2020, for a total of 88 days.
A total of 2,325 homes, facilities and outbuildings in the path of the fires were saved.Rural Fire Service statistics
A Section 44 is similar to a State of Emergency - like those declared by RFS commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons - except it applies to a specific district rather than the entire state.
A total of 119 days in the past six months were spent under a Section 44 declaration, which equates to approximately 66 per cent of that period.
Fifty-eight fires in excess of five hectares in size burnt during those six months, consuming a total of 420,000 hectares of bushland. This represents more than 30 per cent of the combined Mid Coast and Port Macquarie-Hastings local government areas.
From October 26, more than 3,124 incident calls were made, equating to 35 calls per day.
During the peak of the fires in November, 150 homes, nine facilities and 303 outbuildings were destroyed, with 68 homes, 16 facilities and 139 outbuildings damaged.
A total of 2,325 homes, facilities and outbuildings in the path of the fires were saved.
Sadly, one person died in November as a result of the fires across the region.
Between November 7 and 14, there were over 500 firefighters and 200 firetrucks from RFS, Fire and Rescue NSW, Forestry Corporation and National Parks and Wildlife Services on the fire grounds. 22 aircraft and 125 heavy plant supported the firefighting operations.
Firefighters from New Zealand, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, ACT and Canada were involved in the firefighting operations across the Mid Coast district.
Between November 8 and 14, 26 emergency warnings were issued to communities across the region.
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