Yesterday was the official end of the 2022-2023 Bush Fire Season for New South Wales after the Bush Fire Danger Period was extended several weeks.
Commissioner of the RFS Rob Rogers said the Bush Fire Danger Period was continued at the end of March in parts of the state owing to high fuel loads and warmer than average temperatures.
‘We saw an increase in activity late in the season, with significant fires in Narrabri, Mudgee and Upper Lachlan LGAs,’ said Rogers. ‘Across the season, firefighters have worked on more than 24,800 bush and grass fires which burnt through over 116,000 hectares.
March the busiest month
‘March was our busiest month, with firefighters responding to over 2,800 incidents, which accounted for almost 50 per cent of the total hectares burnt across the whole fire season.
Commissioner Rogers said that sadly eight homes were lost as well as 15 outbuildings and hundreds of livestock across firegrounds. ‘However, hundreds more homes and buildings were saved owing to the actions of firefighters and landholders.
‘While the bush fire season has ended, this doesn’t mean the risk of fire has, with the shift from recent wet weather to drier conditions already being seen across much of NSW.’
Commissioner Rogers also reminded landholders and residents about the importance of maintaining their property throughout the year and to be vigilant when using fire on their property.
A warm and dry winter predicted
‘With a warm and dry winter predicted, there is a real risk of fires occurring across the cooler months this year,’ he said.
‘Landholders must know their obligations if conducting burns and know the costs if you do the wrong thing, but most importantly, if a fire does get out of hand, make sure you report it immediately to Triple Zero (000).’
Commissioner Rogers noted that the 2022-2023 fire season has been the busiest period of fire activity since the 2019-2020 Black Summer fires.
‘Over two very wet years, our members worked tirelessly alongside other agencies to assist the NSW State Emergency Service responding to flood and storm events.
‘I would like to thank each and every RFS volunteer for their hard work and dedication to communities across New South Wales.’
‘Our volunteers could also not do what they do without the support and encouragement of families, friends, colleagues and employers and so I thank them as well.’