South Katoomba Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade (formerly known as Headquarters Brigade) commenced a community engagement project in 2006 to increase public awareness of the possible impact of bushfires on the south side of Katoomba. As part of this project, an investigation was undertaken into the current risk of a bushfire along the South Katoomba Escarpment area. NSW Fire Brigades officers undertook a risk analysis of the same area during this same period.
These reviews indicated that potential risks from bushfire in the South Katoomba area have increased over the past few years.
The Fire Authorities of the Bush Fire Management Committee, who meet on a regular basis, agreed to focus on South Katoomba during the 2007-08 Bush Fire Season by providing as many households as possible with relevant information to help these residents be prepared.
In 2006, the NSW Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains District commenced a project to develop a resource for households to develop their own written Bush Fire Action Plan. Research and experience locally, interstate and overseas has indicated that having a written plan can greatly reduce the impact of a bush fire on households and businesses. A first draft of our locally-developed resources were given to some at-risk households following the Grose Valley fire in 2006. in 2007 this project was adopted by the Bush Fire Management Committee.
The first part of this project is now complete and the "Stay and Defend or Leave Early" information kit is publically available. The kit comprises four brochures containing information about bushfires, preparing your property and what to do when a bushfire threatens. There are also worksheets for you to write down your planned actions to follow, whether you decide to stay and actively defend your property, or leave before the fire approaches.
Operation Koonje is the first opportunity for us to distribute these new information kits to an identified community.
All households in the target area will be offered a copy of the new “Stay and Defend, or Leave Early” information kits, developed locally by the Blue Mountains District Bush Fire Management Committee. This kit includes important information about Bush Fires, how to prepare your home and worksheets to help preparing a written Bush Fire Action Plan.
Firefighters will be available over the coming weeks providing follow-up visits to assist with completing your plans and providing Bush Fire Home Safety Checks to residents. All Firefighters will be in uniform. We will not be asking for or accepting any monetary donations during this operation. This is a free service from
We encourage all householders in South Katoomba to take part in this trial and help us deliver a world-class Community Safety programme as we work towards a
Due to significant funding shortfalls, we cannot print enough kits to distribute one to every home in the Blue Mountains.
You can download a copy now if you would like to make a start on your own Bush Fire Action Plan.
To arrange a Bush Fire Safety Check or for assistance with a Bush Fire Action Plan for your house or business, please use the Contact Us page, or call your local Fire Station.
The “Bush Fire Action Plan” project and Operation Koonje are being undertaken by the combined agencies of the
Blue Mountains Bush Fire Management Committee (BFMC).
For information about what a BFMC does, click here.
Operation Koonje gets its name from the Koonje Trig Point, the highest part of the escarpment that overlooks