Royal Hotel RFS Mural

First NSW Rural Fire Service

Did you know that the Rural Fire Service was originally formed in Berrigan?

According to the Berrigan Advocate newspaper, the brigade was formally recorded in November 1900 at a meeting at the Royal Hotel. This is the first official record of a formal bush fire brigade in NSW.

During the 19th century, coordinated firefighting was almost nonexistent, with many landowners forced to defend their own properties. By the beginning of the 20th century, in response to particularly serious fires, the NSW State Government formalised control of fire prevention which led to the formation of the first formal brigade at Berrigan.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is now the world’s largest volunteer firefighting organisation. The geographic area of NSW is 800,630 square kilometres, which is approximately 10.4 percent of the Australian land mass. The NSW RFS has jurisdiction over 99 percent of the State land area. Berrigan Shire is part of the NSW RFS Southern Border Team.

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