Community prepared as it reflects on devastating bushfires

New recruits Tim, Jaiden, Amie, Brendan, Micah and Zac just after the completion of their training at Tuncurry.
New recruits Tim, Jaiden, Amie, Brendan, Micah and Zac just after the completion of their training at Tuncurry.

In early November 2019, several firestorms hit the small village of Johns River.

What started as a fire in the Crowdy Bay National Park, just north of Harrington, eventually made its way up the coast to Johns River and commenced its assault on residents living in Wharf Road, just north of the village.

Sadly, that night, the fire claimed the life of Julie Fletcher, a long term and much-loved resident of the area.

On Saturday, November 9, fires again threatened houses in Wharf Road with firefighters, from all over the district, working tirelessly throughout the day and night, coming to the aid of residents with many properties saved from destruction.

A larger firestorm then hit the eastern side of Johns River on Sunday, November 10, threatening homes in the main village and the Obadiah Christian complex, south of the main town.

Firefighters again came from far and wide to defend the small town with no other properties or lives lost, a great result for all their efforts.

Over the last 10 months, the local Johns River Rural Fire Brigade has been investing time in recruiting and training new members to assist with its capacity in firefighting activities and supporting the local community.

Six new members recently passed their Bushfire Fighter (BF) training and are now ready to support their local community with the upcoming fire season.

Deputy captain and training officer of the brigade, Simon Doyle said "it's great to see more new members join the brigade wanting to volunteer to help their community in times of need. They are so keen and eager to learn all aspects of the role and we appreciate their support and commitment".

Senior deputy captain of the brigade, Chris Bawn said "I am so pleased that the brigade numbers are growing, which is a positive thing for our community".

"We recently lodged a Development Application with Mid Coast Council for an upgrade to the existing station house, as we have outgrown our old 1970s bridge shed.

"We are presently raising funds for the building and hope to have the new station open in about 18 months. We appreciate the generous support of the local community."

Given the devastating effects from the last fire season, it's important now for all residents to have a Bush Fire Survival Plan and have the conversation with your family about what you will do during a fire, including where you'll go, what you'll take and what you'll do with animals.

For further information regarding a Bush Fire Survival Plan, contact your local RFS brigade or visit