With fires blazing along the east coast, it’s not surprising that the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) have declared an early start to the Bush Fire Danger Period for the Far North Coast.
The Ballina, Byron and Tweed Shires will start the Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) early this year and the RFS is urging residents to prepare now for what could be a long and protracted fire season.
Currently there are 65 fires burning in New South Wales and 27 of those are in the Northern Rivers.
The Far North Coast will begin the fire season this Saturday 17 August 2019. Adjoining Northern Rivers shires, including Richmond Valley, Lismore and Kyogle, will also commence their BFDP this Saturday.
NSW RFS Far North Coast Manager, Superintendent David Cook, said a number of factors including local fuel conditions and current and predicted weather patterns, are considered before declaring a variation to the statutory BFDP.
‘Warm and windy conditions across the Far North Coast are continuing to dry out vegetation very quickly,’ said Mr Cook. ‘This is of great concern leading into the bush fire season’.
‘We have also seen a significant increase in fire activity across northern NSW in the past week, particularly in Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers areas, with local resources being deployed to assist.’
Superintendent Cook is urging residents to make and discuss their bush fire survival plan now. ‘This is to ensure all members of the household know what to do on days of increased fire danger and what to do if their home or property is threatened by fire.’
‘Residents should prepare their property by removing flammable materials from their yards, clearing leaves from gutters and checking hoses can reach all around the house’ said Cook.
During the Bush Fire Danger Period, any person wishing to light a fire will require a permit. A fire permit is free to obtain and can be organised by phoning your local Fire Control Centre.
On days of Very High fire danger or above, as well as Total Fire Bans, all fire permits are automatically suspended.
To check the Fire Danger Ratings for your area visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or contact the Far North Coast Fire Control Centre on (02) 6671 5500.