2023 – 2024 Fire Season Wrap Up

Published: July 2, 2024

The Rencon team, as well as emergency responders, braced themselves for a potentially severe season, heightened by previous fire seasons in our regions.   

Some of Rencon’s most notable work in New South Wales and Victoria over the last 12 months comes from what we do in the beforehand. The fire pre-season is crucial to how the actual fire season itself goes. Directed by our clients, at Rencon Air & Land we take care of both.   

In New South Wales and Victoria, our teams spend time with clients and on landowner’s sites conducting Hazard Reduction to ensure everything is prepped to the best of our ability before fire season hits. This includes a number of practices: pruning, removing ladder fuels, road clearing, checking water sources and accessibility and clearing fire breaks for fire appliance access. Mitigation and fire reduction practices are just as important as live fire prevention services so when a fire starts we have designed the best circumstances possible for ourselves and landowners.   

Checking water sources means having planned beforehand where the nearest water source is, if there is a possibility it may run out, where our second source of water will come from. Pruning and large break tree limb removal entails tree management, specific to the native species in New South Wales and or Victoria to lessen the chances of fire hotspots gaining momentum in the centre of a plantation site. Checking our pathways in and out as well to clear out any trees or debris that might slow down our crews from getting to a hotspot is very important. In the months leading up to a fire season our crews are implementing these practices.   

The season began about a month later than expected in Victoria, with unusually dry conditions and higher-than-average temperatures setting the stage for intense fire activity. Beginning onsite fire protection services in late January, we successfully managed five fires up to the end of April 2024. Each fire only required 2-4 of our team members on site and none lasted more than five days at the scene.  

In New South Wales we began on-site firefighting in November, with similar results to Victoria, fires were kept under wraps thanks to the sense of urgency within the industry making our job less stressful than what we have seen in past years’ fire seasons.   

A defining aspect of this season was the rapid response and coordination among firefighting agencies. Integration of advanced technologies via government departments (satellite imaging and drones) provided real-time data crucial for fire management. These technological advancements along with the dedication and attentiveness of firefighters on the ground, helped mitigate the spread of several major fires before they could cause any widespread destruction.