As the weather becomes noticeably warmer, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is reminding residents that thirty-two local government areas (LGAs) will commence their Bush Fire Danger Period today as hot, dry conditions increase the fire risk.
Commissioner of the RFS, Rob Rogers, said that 11 of the 32 areas beginning the danger period this month are doing so a full month earlier than normal owing to the prevailing dry conditions.
‘Wet weather over the last three years has caused prolific growth, and as we move out of this incredibly wet period the bushfire risk is returning to NSW.
‘Fire activity in recent weeks has increased as the landscape dries, and forests and grasslands become more susceptible to fires.
‘Since 1 August firefighters have responded to more than 2,031 bush and grass fires compared to 638 for the same period last year.’
Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib MP has reinforced the need for all landowners to take the time now to prepare for the bushfire season.
‘The warm and dry conditions have put landholders on heightened alert. Preparing for the season is a shared responsibility, and everybody needs to think now about their plan and preparation as we head into bushfire season.’
‘It’s important to have a plan, even if it’s a conversation with your family about what you will do during a fire – including where you will go, when you will go and what you will take.
‘As the weather starts to heat up, it’s time to take simple steps like reducing vegetation around properties and cleaning gutters to reduce the amount of fuel.’
From 1 September, the following local government areas are beginning their Bush Fire Danger Period one month earlier than usual: Tamworth, Bogan, Coonamble, Walgett, Warren, Moree, Gwydir, Narrabri, Gilgandra, Warrumbungle, and Midwestern.
From 1 September, the following LGAs also begin their usual Bush Fire Danger Period: Muswellbrook, Singleton, Kempsey, Nambucca, Mid-Coast, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Clarence Valley, Ballina, Byron, Tweed, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains, Upper Hunter, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, and Shoalhaven.
This is in addition to six LGAs; Armidale Regional, Walcha, Uralla, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, and Tenterfield that commenced on 1 August.
Landholders in these LGAs now need to apply for a permit to burn off and notify their neighbours and local fire authorities 24 hours before lighting up. Free permits are available by contacting your local Fire Control Centre.
Information about hazard reduction burning, obtaining permits and required notification is also available on the RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/BFDP.