Plan for a bushfire in advance, Brogo resident says

A view of the smoke from the bushfire on Thursday. Picture: Rachel Helmreich
A view of the smoke from the bushfire on Thursday. Picture: Rachel Helmreich

Planning in advance is an important part of your bushfire survival plan, a Brogo resident has said. 

Since Gerry Theodorakis moved into his house on Dorrigo Rd three years ago he has been preparing it for the possibility of a fire, clearing about 40metres around his home.

“It’s a high fire risk area, but you can minimise it,” he said. 

The possibility of a bushfire became more likely when one began near Bemboka on August 15, eventually destroying three houses and covering 7500ha.

On the first day of the bushfire, firefighters faced challenging conditions, battling against strong winds as it moved past north and east in the direction of Brogo.

“The police came and contacted people on Dorrigo Rd, and I said I’d like to stay for as long as I can,” Mr Theodorakis said.

“It became pretty scary when all the smoke started to drift across.

“I though ‘okay, we’re potentially in a bit of trouble here’.” 

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One tip he had for others thinking about ways to protect their homes from a fire was to install roof sprinklers on their house. 

“You start them before a fire comes so the whole area is wet,” Mr Theodorakis said. 

He had appropriate clothing to fight a fire, such as head covering, eye protection, gloves and heavy boots. 

He also planned his escape from his property, to make sure he did not get trapped on a road. 

For that, he had a couple of chainsaws in his car in case he came across any falling trees when leaving his property, as well as an esky full of water and woolen blankets, so he can saturate the blankets and use them if the need called for it.  

In the event the fire does move towards Brogo again, Mr Theodorakis said he would stay and fight it.

“I will do the best I can, without being a hero about it,” he said.

“I will take off if I have to.” 

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