The devastation from NSW's bushfire fronts.
The devastation from NSW's bushfire fronts.

Firey says 'rubberneckers' could cost someone their home

A RURAL Fire captain has expressed frustration at the public and media, who tour bushfire zones to see the damage, and get in the way of firefighters.

Woolgoolga RFS Captain Jeff Luke, who has helped to coordinate fire crews on the Liberation Trail bushfire front, north-west of Coffs Harbour, made an urgent plea to people to stay out of the way of firefighters and to stop putting their lives in harm's way.  

"In recent days a rather disturbing issue has raised its ugly head," Capt. Luke said.

"That issue is rubberneckers interfering with and getting in the way of fire and fire-related operations. 

Woolgoolga Rural Fire Service Brigade captain Jeff Luke.
Woolgoolga Rural Fire Service Brigade captain Jeff Luke. Trevor Veale

"Put simply, it is extremely annoying for landholders and downright frustrating for firefighters that are attempting to gain access to an incident. 

"In some circumstances it can be an offence and rest assured that police and fire authorities do take an interest in keeping a safe area around crime scenes. 

"Fair enough, if you have intel on the job, make yourselves known to the firefighters and then move aside.

"If you don't stay well away. 

He said a media crew had a close call on the firegrounds.

"Last week a press car ignored that advice with the result being a squashed car. They got lucky," he said. 

"Think of it this way. You've dialled 000 with a bushfire threatening your home. 

"The responding appliances can't access your property because some muppet wants to take photos and offer 'expert' advice on social media."


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