Rural Fire Service stations across the Illawarra will throw open their doors for Get Ready Weekend, this Saturday and Sunday.
Residents are being urged to prepare their homes as the start of the bushfire season approaches.
Volunteers will be on hand at nine Illawarra stations and will also be dispensing bushfire know-how in the community at Cove Boulevarde, Shell Cove (Wednesday, 10am-1pm), Knox Park, Austinmer (Saturday 10am-2pm) and at Wollongong Botanic Garden (Saturday 10am-3pm).
NSW RFS Superintendent Greg Wardle said all residents needed to be prepared in the wake of last year's horror season.
"Last year's catastrophic bushfire season saw more than 11,000 fires burning through 5.5 million hectares across the state, with nearly 2500 homes and 26 lives lost," Superintendent Wardle said. "Although we have had some welcome rain and the drought is not as widespread coming into this season, there is potential for grass fires in particular, and we all need to be well prepared.
"NSW RFS members have been busy preparing by undertaking hazard reduction burns where possible, maintaining firefighting equipment and undergoing additional training.
"Get Ready Weekend is a chance for Illawarra residents to do their bit to prepare and protect their family and properties in the event of a fire."
Face-to-face events on Saturday at Helensburgh, Otford, Darkes Forest, Stanwell Park, Farmborough Heights, Dapto, Calderwood and Gerringong stations (and at Mount Kembla station on Sunday) will follow strict NSW Health COVID guidelines, allowing a maximum of 20 people at a time.
Full event details can be found at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/getready.
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