Happy New Year from your CFS

Mark Jones hero image courtesy the Advertiser Brad Fleet photo

It’s a unique individual who decides to put their community and state before their own personal milestones or family events.

It’s a choice CFS volunteers are faced with every day, and a sacrifice hundreds of volunteers made two years ago, as they fought bushfires on Kangaroo Island and around Cudlee Creek. On the second anniversary of these fire events, the astonishing recovery efforts and resilience of the communities should be commended.

From a CFS perspective, it’s important that in our journey forward we reflect and learn from the events of the past.

This weekend we had a reminder of how easily fires can start as tens-of-thousands of lightning strikes started fires across the state, including multiple on Kangaroo Island. Crews did a remarkable job dealing with the challenging conditions, weather, and accessibility of fires across the state.

The Bushfire Season is now upon us and with a significant spike of hot weather affecting the State over the Christmas and New Year periods, I am pleading with South Australians to plan ahead and ensure they’re prepared for what looks like a high-risk period.

It's certain that a number of emergency workers and volunteers will be busy keeping us all safe over the festive period just as they do every year, and I would ask everyone to think of them as you enjoy quality family time.

The South Australian community needs to remember, the CFS does not have the resources to be sending trucks to every front door.

Blackhawks arrive in South Australia ready for Summer 2021/22

Due to the wetter than normal spring, fuel loads are high in almost all areas of the state and fires that do start will likely be hard to get on top of. While our firebombers provide both a rapid knockdown capability and the ability to assist with creating control lines by laying defensive lines of retardant, fires are always extinguished by firefighters on the ground and our focus must always be their safety.

Bushfire prevention is a community effort and the CFS will continue to work closely with SA Police through Operation Nomad, to keep as many eyes as possible on firebugs over the summer.

Deliberately lit fires are unacceptable and while not all are criminally motivated, the public need to be aware of what they can and can’t do during the Bushfire Danger Season.

It only takes the slightest spark to start a catastrophic bushfire.

More than 80 CFS volunteers attended a grass fire at Gould Creek - 19 May 2021

Our firefighters attend many structure fires and bushfires each year and, regrettably, on occasions people are killed or seriously injured in those fires. However, the number of people killed and seriously injured in road crashes that CFS volunteers attend is much higher. It’s simply not acceptable.

My simple message this season is to drive safely and give your full attention. Too many people are getting hurt on South Australian roads. Inattention is a killer when you are driving. Do not deprive your loved ones of all the future Christmas’ you might have had with them by your own carelessness.

From everyone at the CFS, we wish all South Australians a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy 2022!

Chief Officer Mark Jones, QFSM