Last Friday a fire broke out in the Jamison Valley at Wentworth Falls, off Tableland Road.
Wildfire behaviour was provoked by strong winds. This is quite extraordinary for this time of year and only two weeks after a huge snowfall in the Blue Mountains.
A section 44 state of emergency was declared on the morning of Sunday 2 August.
I pay tribute to the NSW Rural Fire Service, Remote Area Firefighting Crew, Fire and Rescue NSW, local police officers, National Parks and Wildlife Service personnel, State Emergency Service and ambulance crews.
In particular, I thank Superintendent David Jones of the NSW Rural Fire Service for his calm leadership of hundreds of volunteer firefighters and support personnel throughout the weekend.
Efforts continue into this week.
I offer my thanks to Rural Fire Service brigades from the Blue Mountains, Cumberland, Macarthur, Wollondilly and Sutherland districts, and local group captains Mick Metcalf, Greg Corrigan & Greg Frullani.
I also thank the councillors and staff of the Blue Mountains City Council, especially our fabulous mayor, Mark Greenhill.
I take this opportunity to acknowledge our new NSW Rural Fire Service members, including my 15-year-old son, Tom, who completed their bushfire training earlier this year and proudly participated in efforts to protect and safeguard our community.