Fire has a plan, do you?
These words are the focus of the latest NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) ad campaign to remind people the time is now to be prepared for the upcoming bushfire season.
NSW RFS has brought forward the statutory bushfire danger period for the MIA district from November 1 to this Thursday – a month earlier.
Permits to light fires will be required in local government areas across the Riverina, including Carrathool, Griffith, Hay, Leeton, Murrumbidgee and Narrandera.
MIA District manager Superintendent Kevin Adams warned residents to take care when they need to light fires.
“Anybody wishing to light a fire on their property during the bushfire danger period will require a permit from their local permit officer or fire control centre,” Superintendent Adams said.
He said residents still needed to check whether a total fire ban was in place, even if they have a permit.
“Permits cannot be issued for burning timber including orange trees and grape vines, so we advise this type of burning is done outside the bushfire danger period,” Superintendent Adams said.
NSW RFS Riverina Community Safety Officer Inspector James Smith said the danger period for Wagga district was set for November 1, but the RFS would monitor how fast grass is drying out.
“Grass is curing quite quickly in the western Riverina areas,” Inspector Smith said.
“If we see the same in the Wagga region the public would be notified quickly if the date needs to be brought forward.”
Firewood permits will not be valid once the bushfire season begins.
Tumut, Tumbarumba and Batlow areas will not be able to obtain permits for firewood collection starting November 1.
NSW Forestry Corporation Snowy region fire manager Charlie Taylor said the threat of fires starting from people using chainsaws in forest areas to cut firewood was real.
“The forest environment is constantly changing so it’s important that everyone pays attention to any warning signs and notices and do not enter closed areas,” Mr Taylor said.
Regions in the north-east of the state, including the Blue Mountains and some western Sydney suburbs started their bushfire season on September 1.
Superintendent Adams reminded residents to continue with their hazard reduction plans as well as shoring up their bushfire survival plan.
“We have all seen the devastation that bushfires can bring to the community, so I strongly urge people to contact their local fire control centre and use its expertise to assist in carrying out safe hazard reductions,” Superintendent Adams said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.