Residents staying behind to defend their homes in small coastal towns on NSW’s south coast have been urged to leave out their yellow recycling bins.
It may seem like a bizarre request, but it’s something fire authorities are encouraging as it could help them save lives amid the bushfires.
“Everyone please, if you decide to stay and defend your home please place your yellow bin out the front to indicate there is someone home,” Narooma Rural Fire Brigade wrote on Facebook on January 2.
The bins are a signal to firefighters that somebody is home and they need to check for occupants, according to the ABC.
The message has made its way onto social media and has spread all along the south coast.
One person shared a photo of a yellow bin on a community Facebook page that had “3 people” spray-painted on the front, indicating three occupants have made the decision to stay.
In the past, people have left pieces of paper on their doors or letterboxes, to give firefighters an idea of how many people are in the home, however, given the dangerous winds, Dalmeny RFS Captain Greg Hill told the ABC a piece of paper isn’t going to do the job.
“If [the bin] is empty, put a brick, put something in it, so it doesn't blow over,” he said.
“That way if the time comes and we are in the vicinity … we know someone's still there that we can help.”
Narooma is directly in the line of fire on Saturday, as the state prepares for deadly conditions.
In a ‘Fire Spread Prediction’, issued by the RFS, it is clear Narooma is under threat with the chance of the Badja Forest Road fire spreading east.
After eight deaths already this week, severe and extreme conditions again loom over the state and towns such as Nowra and Narooma fall directly into the line of fire.
"This state of readiness for NSW can't be matched anywhere," Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers told reporters on Friday.
"We are as ready as we can be."
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