Community spirit shines through in times of crisis

Cessnock City Council would like to express an enormous thankyou to residents and our local firefighters for their fast action yesterday, during what can only be described as catastrophic fire conditions

Cessnock City Council would like to express an enormous thankyou to residents and our local firefighters for their fast action yesterday, during what can only be described as catastrophic fire conditions.  

Winds of up to 80km/hour and temperatures above 35 degrees meant both residents and our local Rural Fire Service were on high alert, and what was feared became reality when fires broke out.  

Fires along Wine Country Drive, North Rothbury, York Street and Harper Street, Greta were both escalated to emergency warning level yesterday afternoon. The blazes threatened dozens of homes forcing residents to evacuate.  

At least three properties were damaged in the North Rothbury blaze and two firefighters taken to hospital in a stable condition, but thanks to swift action, the fires were soon downgraded.  

Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent said while it was a terrifying afternoon for many, he was proud of what he saw, which was the enormous bravery of our firefighters and our community rallying together to support one another.  

“On behalf of Council, I would like to thank both residents and firefighters who were on the scene yesterday, we have such wonderful community spirit and that really shone through yesterday.”  

“Special thanks goes out to the Greta Workers Sports and Recreation Club for becoming the local evacuation centre and to those who made the Cessnock Showground available to shelter livestock. People were preparing food and drinks to share with firefighters, which was heart-warming to see. Neighbours were helping neighbours. It was a huge community effort.”  

“While fires in the area have been downgraded to advice level, we still urge residents to be vigilant and have a plan in place in the case of another fire event,” added Cr Pynsent.

Disaster assistance has been made available for those worst hit by the fires in the Cessnock Local Government Area. To find our more visit Disaster Assist.

To stay up-to-date with the latest information, residents are encouraged to download the Fires Near Me App www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me.  

 11/13/2019