Spark up work to keep fire at bay

Cr Steve Tuntevski, Graham Thorne and Senior Firefighter, Tim Hall would like to see more Community Fire Units, like Picnic Point, established in the area.

Story appeared in: Torch | April 24th, 2018

THE bushfires that engulfed 2,800ha of bushland south of the Georges River last week, blanketing suburbs like Picnic Point and Milperra in smoke and ash, sent a clear message to residents.
Picnic Point Community Fire Unit (CFU) volunteer Graham Thorne, who is also a member of the Illawong Rural Bushfire Brigade, was called out to control the huge fire, and was among hundreds of firefighters who spent three days battling the blaze.
"We were just lucky there were no homes destroyed, or that we didn't lose any lives," Mr Thorne said.
The Sylvan Grove resident welcomed a decision by Canterbury Bankstown Council to review its Bushfire Management Plan.
"It's a great idea," he said. "We should be encouraging any moves to strengthen the awareness around the threat of bushfires."
Mr Thorne and his wife Emily are part of a team who belong to a Community Fire Unit (CFU) based in Sylvan Grove at Picnic Point.
CFUs are a team of residents living in urban areas close to bushland who are supported by Fire and Rescue NSW to enhance their safety and resilience to bushfires.
CFU volunteers learn how to prepare their homes ahead of the bushfire season. Volunteers are equipped with basic firefighting equipment (pumps, hoses and protective clothing) to prepare the areas surrounding their properties and prevent a bushfire from spreading from bushland to their houses and backyards.
Mr Thorne said his unit swung into action during the bushfire, hosing down homes in the street and watching for any threat of amber attack.
"We are one of two CFUs in the area, but we could do with more," Mr Thorne said.
For further information on how to establish a CFU, visit

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 136455 | Viewcount: 3490